Catherine McBride

November 7, 2016

Do you vote in every election? Why or why not?

I do every election. I think it’s a good way to get involved in what happens in the community, and I think that it forces you to know what going on around you, and be aware of who represents you, and who makes decisions. I vote because it makes me feel connected to the place that I live.

 

What makes you want to vote?

I think because my work is more focused on community engagement it makes me feel more willing to vote because I know more about what is going on in politics.

 

What’s the biggest challenge you face when it comes to voting? What prevents you from voting?

If you look at places like Red Hook, they have a very low voter turnout. Very few people vote, which is not good. If we aren’t getting out there and putting politicians in office, then we have less leverage to make changes in our own communities--like put in a new transit system.

 

Did you know that our country has one of the lowest voting percentage in the world? What do you think when you hear that?

I think the reason people don’t vote today is because they don’t think that it matters.

 

What would make people more likely to vote?

Government incentives should be related to democracy. People should vote because they believe what they are a part of and issues that they support. By creating incentives, it becomes about getting the reward but voting it is about being a part of democracy and taking charge of decisions that are made that can affect you

 

Do you think that making Election Day a required (and paid) national holiday for all workers, or extending hours that the voting polls are open would increase voting participation?

I don’t know that election day as a paid holiday would increase voter turnout. I don’t think it’s about the time it takes.

 

Is there anything else you want to tell me that I didn’t ask about but should have?

There was a time where I felt like my vote counted, when I voted for Barack Obama. I went to Obama'sInauguration. I was really moved by everything that was going on. I felt like it was a statement.

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