A Vote, A Voice
When it was established, the United States of America boasted more eligible voters than ever before. But it was still just a fraction of the new country’s population. The nation’s founders never envisioned the numbers, classes, sexes, and races of Americans that cast ballots each Election Day. They envisioned a world in which propertied men rose above self-interest and voted on behalf of the rest of “the people.” Many of “the people,” however, showed a stubborn desire to vote directly to choose their leaders and laws. The result has been reluctant adjustments, contentious struggles, and ongoing negotiations as groups tried to persuade lawmakers, the courts, and their fellow citizens to let them share the power of the polls.
You Want to Vote?
Voters’ motivations are as varied as their circumstances and experiences. Some vote to support or change their laws and leaders. Others are motivated by a sense of duty. Many see their first vote as a rite of passage or the final mark of adulthood and American citizenship. Whatever their reasons, Americans who stand in line at the polls make a personal decision to participate in hopes of bettering their lives and their country.
Why Do You Vote?
Why do you vote? In this short film, a group of museum visitors reflects on why they vote, what it means to them, and how voting affects the nation's democracy.