Opinion: How to Kill a Vote


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

Dear Editor,

From the infamous words of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely.  The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”  

Approaching the Nov. 8 elections, millions of Americans are deciding where to place their vote. The most notable races in Wisconsin include Tony Evers (Democrat) and Tim Michels (Republican) running for governor and Ron Johnson (Republican) and Mandela Barnes (Democrat) running for senate. 

Believe it or not, the officials running for election are not there to win a popularity contest. Nominees intend to act on the people’s behalf in the disciplines of law and government. It is, therefore, vital to comprehend the policies and beliefs of all the candidates running for election before filling out a ballot. 

WHAT YOU CAN’T DO: Never treat voting like an unprepared Calculus II exam. Just as coasting along in class is detrimental, utilizing political ignorance and isolation when casting a vote is failing our democracy. To avoid this shameful deed, here are three effortless steps to take before filling out a ballot. 

Step One: Disregard political ads. 

Step Two: Disregard political ads.

Step Three: (Wow! You guessed it!) Disregard political ads. 

HOW TO VOTE: A vote requires a healthy diet to grow and prosper. Worthwhile nourishment can come from reading political articles, listening to the news or watching politically orientated YouTube videos. However, not all political content is beneficial. 

BEWARE: Political ads solely benefit candidates or discredit opponents. As seen on television, political commercials often contain polarizing revelations, unbelievable statements and startling ‘facts.’ Accordingly, political propaganda can directly alter the perceptions of candidates.

As I like to say it, the only thing on the menu when dining with propaganda is broiled misinformation accompanied by seasoned hypocrisy, caramelized lies and an empty promise marinade. 

THE KEY TAKE AWAY: Verifying the legitimacy of any information provided by candidates or political ads is crucial. While in-depth research may feel tiresome, casting a well-informed vote is paramount to the survival of our democracy. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The cornerstone of democracy rests on the foundation of an educated electorate.”