Vote early, vote often

Vote early, vote often

Recently, the conversation about whether journalists should vote or not came up again with some writer friends. We all voted to keep voting. The arguments I’ve read against the idea tend to hold up an idealized notion of an unbiased, neutral journalist, rather than making the case that democracy is no more valid than communism or anarchy.

A few months back, I began research for an article on the “born free” generation (South Africans born after Nelson Mandela was elected president in 1994) voting for the first time. At the time, the IEC was running a big voter registration drive, but they only got 1/3 of eligible teens to sign up. This data corresponded with what many of the youth I spoke with were telling me, namely, the messages of the parties were not connecting with teenagers. Corruption and lack of service delivery were often cited as problems they perceive with the ruling party and its main opposition. So while I would have personally preferred to have written about droves of politically active kids, my story for USA Today focuses on the majority who won’t be participating.