Unregistered Voters on Election Day

On Nov. 4, 2008, many Americans couldn’t wait to cast their vote for the next president of the United States but what about the people who aren’t registered to vote. What are they doing this Election Day?

Finding people who weren’t registered to vote seemed like a hard task. However, some people in Washington are apathetic about the voting process. For various reasons, they represent voices unheard when it comes to the election.

Quietly sitting on her porch in Southwest D.C., Celeste Cagney, 54, has never voted in any election. “It’s up to the people who hold the real power to decide who will win these voting elections,” Cagney said. “I don’t waste my time or bother with the fuss when I know it doesn’t matter if I vote or not.”

With no adults eligible to vote living with Cagney, she couldn’t be swayed by others to register. “My daughter bought me an Obama shirt, and I wear it but she didn’t get me out to get registered.” Currently on work disability, Cagney will wait patiently at her home until the results are announced later in the evening.

According to an online article from Penn State, the chances of citizens voting before age 25 are much higher if their parents are regular voters. Some young voters don’t register and vote in these elections, because they don’t see their parents voting.

Kamilah Salahuddin, 18, from Northwest Washington is a senior at Cardozo High School. Not only is she not registered to vote but her mother and older sister, whom she lives with, aren’t registered as well.

“It’s just not something we care about in our house,” Salahuddin said. “Maybe if my mom and sister voted I might, but I never really gave it that much thought.”

Another young adult affected by a non-voting household is Sid Bauer, 21, from Chicago. He asked to leave the institution he attend out because he doesn’t want his personal views to reflect poorly on the college he attends.

“Man, I really thought I wouldn’t care when Election Day came,” Bauer said. “I feel awful I didn’t vote. Everyone is walking around with their stickers saying they voted, and I don’t have a concrete reason for not voting. My parents don’t vote, and I kinda just went with that. I have learned my lesson, but I still feel like I’m missing history.”

Some people simply feel they did not have enough time to cast their vote. Hanna Lewis, 32, from Northwest Washington is a prime example. Simply put, “I am registered to vote, but there aren’t enough hours in the day,” Lewis said.

With a set of twin boys at home and working two jobs, Lewis claims she would vote if the polls were open later but with her day beginning at 5 a.m. and ending approximately at midnight, she has no time to vote.

“Don’t think I don’t feel bad, but my babies have to eat, and that’s my first priority,” Lewis said, shrugging her shoulders.

For various reasons many Americans do not participate in the election process. Whether it’s family related or lack of time, Americans have several reasons for not casting their votes and participating in the future of the country.

This election may have served as a wake-up call to some who are remorseful that they weren’t involved with the 2008 election. Then there are others who still may not care and won’t care in the future.