A Work Force Too Busy To Vote
By Alexa Breslin
Are American workers too busy to vote?
The primaries leading to the November election will help to determine which candidates are nominated by their parties to run for president. However, a recent informal poll in New Jersey shows that many workers can’t fit voting in primaries or even the general election into their daily schedules.
The poll, which I conducted, of 25 New Jersey citizens in February, ranging in age from 21 to 57, sought to determine who voted in the primaries and if so, for which candidate, and whether they plan to vote in the general election. Basic information was gathered as from each participant, such as name, age, occupation, and party affiliation. Depending on their answers, some participants were chosen for a follow-up interview.
Only three of the 25 participants voted in the primaries, however, all 25 participants said they would vote in the general election in November.
Kristi Jahnke, 23, a second-year law student at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, is a registered Republican and one of the three participants who voted in the primaries. “I voted for Mitt Romney, though it was a last minute decision because I really like McCain too,” Jahnke said in a recent interview.
“Since Romney is out, I’ll be voting for McCain in November. McCain has been in the Senate since 1987, he has tons of experience, he knows what works and what doesn’t, and most importantly, he’s a veteran and former prisoner of war. I think we agree on a lot of issues,” Jahnke added.
The remaining 22 participants who did not vote in the primaries had various reasons why they decided to stay home on February 5, otherwise known as “Super Tuesday,” the largest day of the presidential nomination process when 24 states went to the polls.
“I just ran out of time,” said stay-at-home mother of four, Jayne Lewandowski, 45, of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. “The Primaries aren’t as important as the presidential election anyway,” she added.
Most of the participants polled who did not vote agreed with Lewandowski that the primaries are not as important as the presidential election.
“I feel as though my vote will count more in November because more voters will turn out to the polls,” said Ryan Donde, 21, a third-year business student at Montclair State University and the youngest of the polled participants. Although Donde follows politics, he did not vote on Super Tuesday because “there are too many elections and candidates for Americans to follow and partake in,” he said.
The majority of the 22 participants who did not vote are over 40 and work full-time. One of them, Susan Nissen, 56, a manager of sales operations at Stryker Orthopedics, said, “I didn’t get out to vote, I worked all day.”
This informal poll confirmed a suspicion that the majority of the U.S. work force does not have time in their daily schedules to get out to the polls and vote in many of the elections. The daily grind appears to be crushing individual political participation.