Voices on Voting

It is almost two years since the last general election back in Feb 2020 and we covered the topic of voter education in the adult literacy classroom. This week we asked some students and tutors their views on voting, elections and the role it plays in their lives. Here is what they said:

“Loads of people in my area don’t vote.  I would say what’s the point.  I find it so hard. I wonder what box to go to. If I was with someone that knew what they were doing I would vote.”  

“I don’t think the politicians are there for us. They are there to line their own pockets.  They make out they are for the people but they are not. They are just doing it because they are getting paid for it and telling us lies.” 

“They talk about housing and homeless but there are still people out on the streets.” 

“Sometimes I watch the news and they use an awful lot of big words. I don’t know what they are talking about.” 

“The only time we see politicians is when they want us to vote for them.  They need to prove to the people that they are us for us.”   

“They should be sorting out the hospitals and houses.  They need to prove themselves.” 

“It does make a difference if I vote.  I think my vote goes to someone else if I don’t vote.” 

“I think people in my community don’t vote because they don’t have faith in politicians. I would vote for people I have respect for, not anyone else.”

“If I was running for election I would be out to the people and prove to them that I can help.  I would give people extra money.  I would give people the choice to decide where money should go.” 

“If we could see what politicians did and it was proved to me, that is the kind of politician we want.  They promise you everything and they do nothing.” 

“I think if they do classes in the area it will help get people on our side.  And we should be shown how easy it is to vote like they were shown how to use an ATM. It took me ages to learn this.  It would be handy to get that help if you could walk in and everyone is going to be looking at me. I would be embarrassed.”  

“I vote because it gives me a role as a citizen and I take pride in casting my vote.  I like being able to choose a candidate that would do something for my community.”

“Two years ago candidates visited our centre and I feel that connection was important.” 

“I vote because it is my democratic right and every vote counts. It is critically important to promote democracy and engage in transparency around everyone having an equal say. This is not to be taken for granted as there are many countries where this does not happen. Also women died to ensure I could speak. It is truly very important!” 

“There are many many reasons why people don’t vote. Don’t get me started on disengagement, cynicism, anger, rage, people somehow getting back at the government by not voting etc etc. However I think the bottom line to all that is EDUCATION.  Voting may not be a topic in people’s homes so it needs to be a topic in school. And from an early age.” 

“One thing is that it is difficult to be registered. It is not especially clear. I think you could walk into any class of Leaving Cert students and they would all not know that they will soon not know they are entitled to vote or how to do it.” 

“I always vote because I want to have a say in how the country is run and the issues that affect myself, my family and my community and if I don’t vote someone else will make the decisions for me.”

%d bloggers like this: