Do You Think Your Vote Matters?
The question comes up every election year. Does my vote count? The answer sometimes depends on what race or issue you are voting on. Wyoming is a very Republican state, so if you are not part of the GOP it’s possible that your vote might mean very little, especially in the presidential race.
But even if you are Republican, Wyoming has a mere three electoral votes. Wyoming Public Radio intern Liam Niemeyer met up with Wyoming voters in Laramie recently and asked—does your vote count?
“My name is Nocona Canady-Flatt, and I’m a soon-to-be PhD student at (the University of Wyoming). I don’t really think that it counts. I think that personally, there’s not a politician that I get behind 100 percent, and if I vote one way, if feels like the lesser of two evils—choosing one option so that the other option doesn’t get into office.”
“My name is Robert Niemoeller, I’m retired. The two presidential election candidates, I won’t vote for either one of them because neither one of them I don’t think are any good so. But you know, do we have a choice?”
“Paul Stone, and I work for the Albany County School district. I don’t like the electoral vote process. It doesn’t help us out here. It’s not the people’s choice. So, I don’t think the electoral process works here.”
“My name is Robert Rust and I’m a graduate assistant in the Geography Department at the University (of Wyoming). Of course it matters, and if you’re not voting, you’re making the change you wish to see in your community. And no matter who’s running, I think you should have your voice heard.”
“My name is Ryan Helling, and I’m unemployed. But I used to be a truck driver. Now there are candidates on both sides that I don’t really like. And I don’t think my vote would matter because neither candidate is worth voting for.”
While people doubt their Presidential vote makes much of a difference, people voting in other races have a different view.
“My name is Robert Douglas Bryans, and I’m an artist and student here at the University of Wyoming. State and Local races are probably some of the most undervalued parts of our political voting process. And that’s really where individuals can make a difference at an individual basis.”
“My name is Mariah Ehmke and I’m an associate professor of agriculture and applied economics at the University of Wyoming. And I have actually just spent much of the last year outside the country where it would have been much more difficult to vote. And I felt this extra degree of powerlessness. It was hard to observe what was going on in America politics, but at least by being here and having a vote, I can do something small towards what I believe will make a better future.”
And some may gripe that their vote doesn’t matter, but Director of the West Institute Seminary Clayton Schultz says the voting process in the U.S. is still better than in other parts of the world.
“Though I do think considering the process as a whole and considering the world as a whole, that are vote does count compared to other systems out there. I think a little tweaking could help that vote count with a little more power.”
Wyoming’s primaries are on August 16 and the general election is November 8th.