Vote on your Congressperson rather than voting on Congress

Are you frustrated with your political party not passing their stated agenda? Are you thinking of sitting out this election?

Before you do, answer the following questions:

  • What are your policy goals?

  • Did legislation related to those policy goals come to a vote in Congress?

  • If so, did your Representative or Senator vote in favor of those policy goals?

  • Did the legislation pass?

Suppose you answered “yes” to the second and third questions, but “no” to the fourth question. In other words, your Representative or Senator did what they could to pass legislation that you support, but ultimately that legislation did not pass because of other Representatives or Senators.

Would it make sense to withdraw support for your Congressperson for voting the way you hoped that they would vote?

Vice versa, suppose that you answered “no” to the third question. In other words, your Representative or Senator opposed legislation that you supported.

Would it make sense to sit out the election when the person that represents you is actively undermining your legislative goals?

Either way, abstaining from the election makes your Congressperson less likely to fulfill your legislative goals. You might be frustrated that other Representatives or Senators from the same party or the opposing party are not on the same page as you, but they do not have a duty to represent you.