OK

That is the title of a FB group from which a friend in my feed recently shared a photo.  I immediately clicked over to the group page, which seemed to be overrun with links from Fox News, The Reagan Coalition, etc.  No big surprise there.  However, this is a friend of mine with a fairly similar outlook on life as my own, and I wanted to understand where she was coming from.  

I politely asked her on her comment thread, if she was planning on voting at all this year?  I was curious to see - if she was not planning on voting for Obama - if she planned a third-party, Libertarian, Green, dreaded R-Money vote, or something else altogether.  

She replied that she was not planning on voting at all.

I bit my tongue, swallowed, and then politely asked her that if she didn't mind, could she please tell me why not?  

Her answer, paraphrased, essentially boiled down to this:

 "I believe the voting system is rigged to give the people a false sense of power, and that voting makes no real difference."

My heart sank as I read these words and struggled yet again to address the resounding theme of voter apathy I am hearing more and more from those within my fairly wide circle of friends - those who are intelligent, creative, open-minded, liberal, spiritual, interested in social justice, equality, environmental issues, and otherwise would be staunch allies in our progress towards a more fair, equitable, and just democratic society.  They have stepped up to participate with Occupy.  They are active within their communities. They are movers and shakers, doers and dreamers, and we all share similar, hopes, perspectives, and goals.

However, they are increasingly abandoning the system in droves, and I am finding myself at a loss to counter my friend and others adopting similar positions of voter apathy and disengagement - protesting against a failing system, corrupt politicians, imperfect parties, and more by choosing to opt-out and drop out of the process altogether.

I turn to the dailykos community for assistance.  What are the right words to use?

How do I reach her?  

More importantly, how do we all reach these people?

4:36 PM PT: UPDATE: Thanks to all for suggestions so far.  I went back to the comment thread, and was saddened to see several people had liked her comment "modern voting is rigged", but felt encouraged enough to post anyway:  "whether you think modern voting is rigged or not, the reality is that legislation will be passed in this country that affects you, your rights, your body, your freedom of choice, and your freedom of speech. refusing to participate by refusing to vote or by refusing to work on reforming the system (or create an alternate) is allowing someone else to create your reality. besides, the way the system IS truly rigged is by one side (or multiple sides) dissuading people just like you from voting altogether."  And then MY comment started receiving likes from her friends!  So thank for the tips, advice, and the community ~ as I don't believe any of these people are lost causes and should not be worked on, I believe that they are just sadly misinformed...

9:11 PM PT: 2nd Update: So, apparently my first ever diary actually made it to the rec list earlier.  I was too busy reading comments to notice. THANKS kos community ~ I really just wanted to be able to find the right words to counter voter apathy ~ so glad everyone responded!  Grateful :)

Originally posted to loveistheway on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Political Language and Messaging.

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