Here's Why I Won't Be Voting in the General Election

For months, we’ve seen both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton win primary after primary. It’s clear after the Indiana primary that Trump will be the Republican nominee, and Hillary Clinton’s recent wins have all but clinched the Democratic nomination for her. For me, seeing an election where Trump faces Clinton in the general election is my greatest political nightmare.


Surely, I thought to myself, I’m living in an alternate reality, and we’ll all be whisked into the real world in a matter of time. Well, this is reality—And though it’s one many of us don’t want to face, we have to decide where our vote is going in November.

Mine won’t be going in the ballot box.

With Americans on both sides feeling so strongly about the candidate of their choice, I struggled, as I wanted to feel strongly about a candidate too. I never supported Ted Cruz, John Kasich or even Marco Rubio. As a conservative college student, I was fresh out of luck.

Where was a candidate you could believe in when you needed one? Where was the candidate who could be politically correct simply out of common decency, and one who could treat others with respect? Where was the candidate that could still be strong and stand up for American values without undermining the rights of everyone? Though we started out with so many candidates on the Republican side, no one stood out.

I couldn’t get behind Trump because of his sexist and racist comments, and Hillary Clinton isn’t someone I particularly trust with the keys to the oval office. Her recent email server scandal and her handling of the situation in Benghazi leave me worried and afraid of the consequences of her being the next U.S. president.

I’m a conservative, and I don’t want to delve into all the reasons I don’t agree with Hillary Clinton and her policies or stances. I can’t vote for her because our ideas about what will be the best for America are vastly different.

During the last few months, it has pained me to see Trump rise in popularity through his bully mentality and become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. He represents everything Americans aren’t, but what everyone assumes Americans are from obnoxious stereotypes. I don’t want him to be the one person the world looks to as a representative of the U.S.

And with no one for me to get behind, I’ll be honest, I won’t vote. I can’t.

I am frustrated because it is my civic duty to vote. It is a right that both revolutionaries and suffragists fought for, so that I could exercise it with freedom and conviction. I don’t take that vote for granted by any means, but I know its significance. I understand that it is for me to have a voice, to express my opinion and to partake in democracy. I knew when I turned 18, it would mean I’d get to vote in the next election. I was excited, eager and ready to support the candidate I felt would make the best leader for my country.

And yet, I find myself paralyzed when deciding who I should vote for. Each candidate goes against what I believe in and what I believe is right for this country. How can I put my name down for someone who I don’t truly support? That is not patriotism, and it is not in the spirit of America.

So I won’t be voting. I won’t because if I go to vote, it’ll be a game of pick your poison.

I won’t vote because it feels wrong to choose one candidate simply because you dislike the other candidate even more.

So come Nov. 8, you won’t see me with an “I Voted!” sticker on my shirt. I'm choosing to abstain from the 2016 general election.

This piece was written by a Her Campus Story Prompts network contributor. Want to contribute? Sign up here.