Philipa Crowne, Red Hook Initiative Development Associate

November 7, 2016

Philipa Crowne, Red Hook Initiative Development Associate

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

I almost didn’t vote in the last Presidential election, when I moved back to New York. The Board of Elections got my registration information incorrect twice. It was really hard to get in touch with them over the phone. The 2012 Presidential election was right after Hurricane Sandy, and New Yorkers were allowed to vote at any site.  I happened to live across the street from an elementary school.

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 am not surprised that the United States has one of the lowest voting turnouts in the world. I think that should make voting more accessible. I know that my own experience voting in New York represents a fraction of the issues that voters nationwide face.

What would make people more likely to vote?

I think low voter turnout stems from apathy that young people feel towards the government. In connection with revising the system, we need to renew the sense of empowerment voters should feel.

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 think it could hurt to have Election Day as a paid holiday, especially for people who work crazy hours. The USA gives so little paid time off, so this could help increase voting turnout.

Is there a time where you felt like your vote counted?

I always feel like my vote counts at Red Hook Initiative (where I work). We are given so many opportunities to have a voice and a safe space. If everybody felt like that with government, they’d be more likely to vote.