October 24th, 2012
01:02 PM ET
2 years ago

Battleground Blog: The committed non-voter

EDITOR'S NOTE: CNN has sent dozens of reporters, producers, contributors and correspondents to the key battleground states to cover the final days of the 2012 election. In this post, CNN contributor John Avlon offers his take on one Florida woman who says she won't vote.

(CNN) – The Battleground Bus Tour is hitting Florida's I-4 corridor Wednesday, talking with the swing voters who will decide the winner of the Sunshine State's 29 electoral votes in two weeks.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

And on the first day, we talked with many swing voters who are still thoughtfully weighing the pros and cons of both candidates and we'll be posting some of those online later.

But one conversation really stood out. It was with a young woman in Lakeland named Kayla Williams. She was intelligent, professional and a committed non-voter.

That's right – despite the fact that her vote as a Floridian counts disproportionately in picking the next president of the United States, Kayla doesn't believe in voting. This predictably drew a lot of intense questions from CNN's Ali Velshi and me. Here's the exchange.

Kayla's argument that she was not informed and therefore should not vote is almost persuasive – if you ignore history and perspective. The reality is that every vote matters – especially in Florida, which George W. Bush won by just 537 votes in 2000.

But if you've ever wondered whether some undecided swing state voters are just decided non-voters – well, we found one. You're welcome.

But here's hoping Kayla changes her mind. Because sitting out an election isn't a decision as much as an abdication of responsibility in a democracy. It's taking freedom for granted.

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

– GOP Senate candidate accuses Dems of distorting his rape comments

– Clint Eastwood returns, stars in new super PAC ad

– Obama ad uses ghost of recount past

– Romney campaign and allies far outspending Democrats

– Trump's new charity drive

– Obama ready for 'all-nighter'


Filed under: 2012 • Battleground Blog
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. ATL Guy

    Hopefully she'll look back at her decision to sit out the election if there's a Romney win and women's rights are rolled back, Social Security is decimated and Medicare goes the way of the dinosaur. How to say this nicely? There's no way to say it, she's an idiot.

    October 24, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. just sayin

    sounds more like a CNN get out the vote tour for Obama

    October 24, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. Don

    Anyone that can't make up their mind in this election should probably just stay home. We don't need our democracy left in the hands of people that unaware.

    October 24, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. 4moreyears

    This is just sad.

    October 24, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Art

    That video interview is the single best journalistic piece I've seen in the entire election cycle.

    October 24, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. gt

    she wont have to have jury duty...

    October 24, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Dear Committed Non-Voter:

    Thank you for your support.

    Sincerely,

    The GOP

    October 24, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Tom

    I frankly don't want an ignorant vote canceling out my informed vote. Better she stay home than just guess at it.

    October 24, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. LRonaldHubbs

    Choosing not to educate oneself on the candidates and issues is stupid and lazy.
    Choosing not to vote because of one's lack of knowledge is respectable.
    Choosing to vote regardless of one's lack of knowledge is reprehensible.

    October 24, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Phyllis G Williams

    If someone is throwing filth in your face and you don't want it removed you are free to accept it.

    October 24, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. Thomas

    It's a selfish act not to vote !

    October 24, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. v_mag

    People who know who they are voting for are boring. Nobody wants to interview an Obama or Romney voter. But, if you claim you are not committed to a candidate, or that you are not going to vote, suddenly you become interesting. These folks are getting something no normal voter gets: attention. That's the payoff. It's a Munchausen thing.

    October 24, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. 13 days until Obama is RE-ELECTED!! Deal with it GOP trolls...

    The Repugs continue to try and spin their failing candidates in a positive manner.. it's obvious that Mittens hasn't a clue about foreign policy. Nor does he have much math ability.. he's a silver spooned bully who things he should be President. Presidential characteristics are severely lacking in the Willard camp, and to have Ryan spouting about Iran being 4 yrs closer to nuclear capability is singularly asinine. It's like Obama's horses and bayonets comment... things have changed children. We're 4 years FURTHER AWAY from the economic disaster that was the Dubya era.. lets focus on moving ahead and not back to the 50's like R&R want.

    October 24, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. roger

    That woman is a disgrace.

    October 24, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Election Watcher

    Vote, you people make me laugh. You talk about how important it is to vote but some try to suppress it. From day 1 ( as Mr. Romney always says ) the choice has not been clearer. I cannot understand why people would want a man who lies every time he speaks and a nutjob congressman in the W.H. Neither one is anywhere near being up to the job. As for your president he has done a wonderful job with what he walked into. I think there are a lot of Americans who suffer from Romnesia. As for dividing the country or the people the Repugs, the media and the people who allowed it to happen are to blame. As for President Obama I totally respect and admire him and i have no doubt he will be just fine no matter the outcome of the elections. It's you good Americans and the rest of the world that will pay if these two twits get elected. My views of the U.S.A. has changed a lot from following this election and is no longer my favorite vacation destination. You people are your own worst enemy and I hope you don't self destruct. Good Luck ALL.

    October 24, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. Dean

    Stupid people should not be allowed to vote because they always vote 'Democrat'.

    October 24, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Namedd

    If you can't make an informed decision by now you are an idiot . Just looking at the last four years should be enough . Americans can be so lazy . It is an honor to be able to vote something I take quite seriously . I don't understand how others don't

    October 24, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. truth hurts

    Doesn't she know that Obama is willing to give her anything she wants if she will just vote for him? Of course WE will pay for it but who cares?

    October 24, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |