Friday, September 02, 2016

Voting is a habit

Over a couple of decades of trying to encourage registration and voting among communities living at the margins -- people of color, queers, young people -- I have given training after training in which I've claimed: "voting is learned behavior. If you can persuade people to try participating, they'll likely continue to use this tool, among many, in their struggles to empower their communities."

Incidental to understanding its own polling in this endless election, Survey Monkey has offered this graphic representation of their findings about how committed various potential voters were to their choice of candidate in mid-August.
Summarized in words, they found that certainty about candidate choice increases with age. This strikes me as a graphical representation of what I've been promoting: voting fluency increases with practice as people do it over and over. Voting is habitual behavior.

I'm not thrilled with the voting habits of many old white voters who reliably keep choosing Republicans. But there are many young people and newcomers who need get started on the habit of making the best choice available; get 'em started and results change.

3 comments:

tina a Lebanese in Beirut said...

About "voting" from Dissident Voice:
http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/08/let-foreigners-vote-in-the-us-election/
"The next President should not just be chosen by Americans, but by the billions of people whose lives it tries to govern without a democratic mandate."

janinsanfran said...

Love that link, Tina! In the 80s, Latin Americans used to say that when someone in Washington sneezed, they got pneumonia. And this is true.

Ed said...

Is forcing someone to pay for things that they don't want, evil? What about voting for someone who forces people to pay for things that they don't want?

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