For Chris Halajian, it is extremely important that everybody understands the importance of voting. Voting in elections is an opportunity for the people to exert their voice and drive policies that they feel are important. Whether you live in Southold or Mattiuck, elections are hugely important, therefore.

Chris Halajian on What Elections Can Do

There are many community problems that people can resolve by choosing their candidates. Those include:

  • The regeneration of a dilapidated estate.
  • Issues with police brutality.
  • Problems with drink driving along a certain route.
  • Rubbish collection on Monday.

These are just some issues that people can have addressed and resolved by using their vote in local elections. Unfortunately, voter turnout continues to be at historical lows, something that Chris Halajian feels must be addressed.

Why Some People Don’t Vote

There are many reasons why people don’t vote. One, unfortunately, is apathy. This is also the one most commonly picked up on by the media, and the one that people of opposing political sides use to say that people have no right to complain (“You didn’t vote, so you can’t say anything”). There is another reason why people don’t vote, however, and that one is of particular importance.

That reason is that people feel that there simply isn’t anyone who properly represents them. They no longer want to choose between the lesser of two evils, because they fear that they will then in part be responsible for the actions that person takes that they don’t agree with, a fear that is genuine and based in fact. What people who don’t vote for this reason hope for, is that enough others will follow suit, making voter turnout so low that any election result would have to be declared null and void. In effect, they want to make a statement of their own. While this would be powerful if successful, these people still have a long way to go.

Chris Halajan believes there is a solution, however. If just one of the people who don’t vote because they cannot find someone to truly represent them would run in local elections themselves, then it is likely they will represent the vast majority of others who feel the same way. This also means that there would finally be an alternative. The reality is that, in this country at least, they would find it very difficult to make it into the ranks of federal government. But at local level? There, they have a real chance. And it is at local level that the real changes are made.

There has been a driving force of young people exerting their voice as of late, particularly in relation to gun control. Those are young people that, in just a few months or years, will be able to not just vote, but to run for office as well. Perhaps a change is finally coming, and perhaps voter turnout will also start to increase. It is doubtful, after all, that any of those young people will be happy to vote for the status quo.

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