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The politics of not voting

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton signs are display. Will you be voting today?
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton signs are display. Will you be voting today?
Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images

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Eligible voters who choose to not vote cite a miscellany of reasons: they think politicians are corrupt; the system is too entrenched to change; a vote won't achieve their ends; the results are a fait accompli.

In Nevada, the ballot offers a "none of these candidates" option - a box that former candidate Rand Paul wants to see on ballots across the United States.

Social movements such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter have engaged citizens to get active, agitate, and speak out for radical change, but there is no consensus within those movements about whether voting is one of their tools. Voter turnout of African Americans in this year's primary battles show a slight dip in turnout among those younger than age 45 - 11 percent turned out in 2008 compared to 10 percent this year according to exit poll analysis conducted last month in "The Washington Post."

While low voter turnout is caused primarily by apathy and ignorance, some Americans make a conscious choice to buck the system on election days. What do you think of Americans choosing not to vote?


Lonna Rae Atkeson, Professor of Political Science, University of New Mexico; Director for the Center for the Study of Voting, Elections, and Democracy, University of New Mexico; Rae has been monitoring elections in various states this cycle, including Washington this coming Saturday