To Vote or Not to Vote?
2018 was a midterm election year. 2014 was the lowest midterm election voter turnout since WWII. Turnout of the voting-eligible population in 2014 was just 36.4 percent, according to the projection from the United States Elections Project. What is it about voting that inspires citizens of voting age to participate or turn away, feeling it’s not worth the effort? In this conversation, we talk about what leads to people’s decisions around voting.
In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around voting, the forces that encourage or discourage voting, and our responsibilities as citizens in a democracy. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about whether “to vote or not to vote” among those who are eligible to do so.
These are the agreements that you will follow during the conversation.
- Be Curious and Open to Learning. Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.
- Show Respect and Suspend Judgment Human beings tend to judge one another. Do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.
- Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.
- Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others Share what's important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.
- Be Purposeful and to the Point Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.
- Own and Guide the Conversation Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what's happening, and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.
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