TWH – Earlier this month TWH queried readers with an informal and non-academic survey on their voting plans for the upcoming election, to which 505 people responded.
Regardless of any partisan divide, the majority of U.S. citizens feel this is one of the important elections in modern history. Pagans, and those who follow a Pagan-adjacent path, make up a minority of the U.S. population, and as such rarely find their voices expressed in mainstream polls and media.
TWH editors thought an informal survey would present an opportunity to allow readers to weigh in and have a glimpse at how other readers perceive voting in the upcoming election.
The informal survey consisted of nine questions, seven concerning voting and demographics, and two that related to how respondents would prefer to be identified and contacted if we chose to use their comments.
228 people, 50% of respondents were in the 45 – 64 age bracket. The next largest group was the 30 -44 age bracket 26.75%, 122 people. Those in the 65 and older bracket made up 19.74%, 90 of respondents, and the smallest group of respondents was the 18 – 29 group, numbering just 16 and on 3.51%. 49 people opted to skip the question.
The first question concerned the eligibility of the respondent to vote in the U.S. 2020 election. Of the 505 responses, only 13 (2.57%) selected that they were not eligible to vote in the upcoming election, most listed the reason as not being U.S. citizens. 97.43% responded affirmatively.
498 people responded to the second question regarding how they identified politically. Seven declined to answer. The overwhelming majority of responses stated their affiliation as Democrat, with Independent, or no party affiliation coming second. Of the total number of respondents, only 4% listed the Green party, and 2% respectively identified as Libertarian or Republican.
About 30% of respondents made a point to state that, regardless of party affiliation, they intended to vote Democrat in the election.
Over 97% of respondents said they intended to vote, with only 15 of the respondents said they would not vote.
Many of the responses on why they were choosing to vote cited civic duty, exercising their rights, and even considered it a sacred duty like this respondent who opted to not list any name or identifier:
- “I always have, like generations before me. We consider it a sacred duty, and part of what we do to better life here in the US.” – unidentified
Others acknowledged the sacrifice of ancestors who secured the right to vote and felt a responsibility to honor those by voting.
- “My right & duty as an American citizen: people have died to get the right to vote, and I won’t dishonor that sacrifice. There are people and laws I want gone, those I wish to continue, and those I wish to bring in. This is sowing what I want to reap.” – unidentified
Some stressed the importance of being engaged in the political process, especially for Pagans:
- “Voting is one way among many to engage in the political process. I think it is important that pagans and other magickal folks engage in mainstream political processes and advocate for politicians and parties that are more in line with our values and principles.” – Chris Crews, Ohio
Others indicated how dire they felt this election to be, and how it influenced the way they intended to vote.
- “The current political landscape is a dearth of societal conscience and awash with corporate enabling that is killing this planet and everything on it. Voting blue is a first step away from the brink and toward a more equitable future. But it doesn’t stop here. It’s only the first step.” – Weavr, Dickson, TN
- “For the soul of the nation.” – Bella
A frequently recurring response was how important they felt this election to be:
- “The future of the country is at stake, more so now than at any time before in my lifetime.” – Mary, Missouri
- “Most important election of my life, everything is at stake.” – CC
The majority of respondents who wrote a statement about the importance of the 2020 presidential election expressed significant opposition to the current administration and the incumbent president often using exceptionally vivid language.
One reader commented that the nation will not survive another 4 years under the current administration. Many readers felt the administration rejected inclusion and failed in its response to the pandemic.
- Trump and his hate-filled policies need to go now. I believe he could have prevented many of the deaths from COVID-19 not to mention the hatred he unleashed from his every utterance
But opposition to the administration was not unanimous. One reader wrote in support of the current administration:
- I’m a gay man. came out in the 90’s. I believe that basic American freedoms are under attack. Things like free speech, free association, religious liberty (as a Pagan that is very important to me). Freedom is key for me. I believe Trump, although he has a horrible personality – he’s fighting for freedom vs. restrictions on free speech and religious liberty as well as being brave enough to stand up against Islamic extremism.
While seven of the people who said they would not vote was due to not being U.S. citizens, several gave other reasons for not exercising their right to vote. Some expressed a feeling of their vote not making difference or that all parties running were equally bad.
- “What’s the point? All as bad as each other…” – Sarah – North Carolina
While others defined the system as “too broken” or too corrupt.
- “Lost faith in the American voting system as a viable way to have an effective government. Too much money in politics and too much inefficiency and tribalism.” – Indiana
- “The system is far too broken for voting to fix it.” – Kentuckian
How respondents intend to vote showed the majority doing mail-in ballots, 53.8%, 32.48% opting to vote early, in person, and 14.44% intended to vote in person on election day.
Turnout projections of next week’s US presidential election are historic. Early voting has been unprecedented. U.S. News & World Report reported this afternoon that almost 75 million people have already cast their ballots with six days until election day. With early voting predicted to rise and closing on 100 million.
Indeed, the electorate is very engaged in this election and voter turnout could break 150 million or about 65% of the US electorate.