8 Reasons to Vote

By Jennifer Tucker  

Election Day has arrived in the U.S., so this post provides eight reasons to vote, with each reason drawing from a different motivational state.*  Given that most candidates seem to be focusing on the “vote or dire consequences will occur” card (covered by the first bullet below), I thought a little motivational diversity might do us all some good.

So, here are eight reasons you should vote:

  • Serious (motivated by goals and outcomes): This election is the most important election since the last one.  Our futures are riding on the decisions made at the ballot box – our choices will impact us for years to come.
  • Playful (motivated by process and fun): It’s fun to look for dangling chads.  And to admire children’s art on the walls if you vote at an elementary school.  Or to flip through new books if you vote at a library.  Or to say Hi to God if you vote at a religious center. And to just enjoy the moment of participating in a democracy.
  • Conforming (motivated by rules and belonging): It’s the right thing to do, so you should do it.  Be a good citizen; be a part of what makes this country work.
  • Rebellious (motivated by freedom and independence): Not happy with the way things are going? Do something about it!  Express your views! Stand apart from the others! Express your independence!
  • Mastery (motivated by power and competence):  Use your knowledge of the candidates to make smart decisions and to express your power and competence.  Debate your views with others so we can all become smarter.
  • Sympathy (motivated by care and compassion): Voting is a wonderful way to connect with your neighbors. Say hello to the person in line near you, say thank you to the volunteers, and care about other citizens, regardless of their political views.
  • Self (motivated to full one’s own needs): Your one vote counts.  Only you can pull that lever. You get a cool sticker to prove it, too.
  • Other (motivated to fill the needs of others): Your country counts.  Be part of a democracy that is bigger than you.

Whatever State you are in – get out and vote!

* These eight motivational states are core ideas from Reversal Theory, a unique theory about motivation and emotion.  New to Reversal Theory?  Read Reversal Theory in Tweets or visit OKA’s Reversal Theory Training Site.


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