What do people think about not voting, and how many would date a non-voter?
The Presidential election is this coming Tuesday: volunteers are knocking on doors, cell phones are buzzing with calls from phone bankers and early voting is getting record numbers of people to the polls before election day—it seems that everyone has a stake in this election. Or, almost everyone, anyway. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, about 61% of eligible voters will make it to the polls this year—meaning almost 40% won't.
Their reasons differ—they're working and can't get there in time, they don't think their vote counts, they've decided not to vote as a form of political protest or perhaps they'll simply forget—whatever the reason, about 80 million people will stay home from the polls this year. But with emotions running so high this election season, could not voting spell dating disaster?
If politics are important to you, discussing your beliefs early on in a relationship is important. Differing views shouldn't kill a bourgeoning relationship (Democrats and Republicans can get along in the bedroom and in life), but is there a stigma against those who opt out entirely? Love Buzz polled our friends and contributors to find out.
Intern Liz wants her partner to vote. "It's pretty important that my partner votes—not because I really think that his vote would change the election outcome substantially, but because it says a lot about him if he doesn't care about voting. A guy that doesn't vote is likely to be a social loafing, irresponsible, uninteresting person." Not voting isn't a deal breaker for Liz, but "it would be a deterrent to otherwise peaceful discussion about politics (or any current events, at this point in the voting season)."
Intern Lindsay agreed that voting speaks to a person's character, but that she could still date someone who didn't do his civic duty. "If he didn't vote, I would totally be turned off, and probably angry. I think I would still date the person if he didn't vote, but my opinion of him would definitely change," she says.
Twenty-eight-year-old writer Catrinel would be "grossed out if someone didn't vote. I'd tease them and try to help them find a way to make it easy to vote. I'd ask why they didn't care. If it were a new person I was seeing and I learned they didn't care, I'd be really turned off. It could be a deal breaker depending on which way I was leaning."
For some, dating a non-voter isn't an option. Nicole, our director of strategy and operations had this to say: "Not voting is an absolute deal breaker for me. It's not much to ask of anyone to go one day a year and push a button. If a guy you're dating can't find a few minutes a day once a year, then what does that say for your relationship? What other small moments won't he find the time (or passion) for?"
But not everyone needs their partner to be politically engaged. Twenty-something Jessica doesn't care if her partner votes. "It would not turn me off if someone I was dating didn't vote," she says. "As long as they still care about politics and are politically conversant, not voting isn't a deal breaker."
And you, dear reader? Would you date a non-voter?
For those of you trying to convince someone to vote, here are a couple of cute ways to nudge. Send an e-card like the one illustrating this post. If you're an Obama supporter, send your partner a video letting them know that your candidate lost the election by one vote—theirs.