Living Room Conversations & Campus Election Engagement Project Present: Does My Vote Really Matter?

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Does My Vote Really Matter?

Download a PDF of the full Does My Vote Really Matter Guide here.

Each LivingRoom Conversation starts with participant Introductions, reviewing Conversation Agreements about how the conversation will be conducted, and a Getting To Know Each Other section. The bulk of the conversation is devoted to Exploring the Topic, before concluding with a Reflection on the conversation.

Exploring the Topic — Does My Vote Really Matter? (~40 min)
One participant can volunteer to read this paragraph.

A record-breaking 158.4 million ballots were cast in the November 2020 general election. While this is cause for celebration, there is equal cause for concern. Around 35 percent of eligible voters did not participate even in this major election and, if past trends hold, we can expect a dramatic drop in voting in 2021 when municipal elections are held. A stark gap still remains in the voting of different demographic groups, with younger, black and brown people voting at lower rates than white and senior voters. What is it about voting that inspires us to participate or turn away? What makes people question whether their vote matters or decide voting is not worth the effort? In this conversation, we talk about what leads us to choose to vote or to choose not to vote.

Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional questions as time allows.

  • Are you registered to vote? What led you to that decision?
  • Did you vote in recent elections? Why or why not? How do you feel about the significance of your vote?
  • How important was voting in your family?
  • How have you seen election results impact different groups in your community? Do results feel representative of the community in which you live?
  • How would elections and communities be affected by substantially higher voter turnout?