Did 73 Million Americans Rig the Election?

An open question about politics for everyone on Medium


Everyone who is reading this has likely been unable to escape the latest political news about Trump or Clinton.

But one of the most overlooked (and unnerving) statistics recently came out in an article written by the New York Times.

The article shows only 9% of Americans deemed eligible to vote, voted for Trump or Clinton in the primaries. To arrive at this figure, they took the:

  • 324 million total of Americans
  • Subtracted the 103M who are children or those ineligible to vote
  • Subtracted the 88M adults who are eligible to vote, but choose not to vote in general elections
  • Subtracted the 73M adults who did not vote in the primaries, but will most likely vote in the general election
  • They were left with the 60M adults who did vote in the primaries, of which ~30M were Republicans and ~30M were Democrats
  • Half of all those primary voters (~30M) voted for a candidate other than Trump or Clinton, so they subtracted that amount (~30M)
  • And they were left with the staggering reality… only 30M of the American adults eligible to vote, voted for Trump or Clinton
  • That’s only ~14% of all the eligible voters, or ~9% of all Americans!
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. –Edmund Burke

Our entire political reality right now is being authored by just 9% of all Americans. Seventy three million eligible American voters chose apathy over voting in the primaries.

Does this scare the hell out of anyone else but me?

So here we are…


It’s easy to look for those to blame, and I don’t think it lies with the 9% of Americans who voted for Clinton and Trump…

It seems like they were the only ones with enough courage and personal agency to try and make their vote count.

What about the 73 million adults who were eligible to vote in the primaries, but didn’t… what is their responsibility?
If they had voted in the primaries, what would our political reality be right now?

I don’t have the answers, and these are all open questions for any Medium reader that cares to answer.

I’m ashamed to admit that I’m one of those 73 million eligible voters who didn’t vote in the primaries. I was a believer that building technological solutions mattered far more than the political process. This election has been a harsh wake up call, and my views are changing.

Imagine what America could become in the future if everyone who was eligible to vote took the primaries seriously.

What if we insisted on candidates in the primaries having long-form debates and conversations outside of the mainstream news?

What if we refused to humor any candidate who used a teleprompter?

Or what if we no longer trusted candidates who didn’t live stream portions of their personal life?

Contrary to popular opinion, the biggest near-term, revolutionary change in politics isn’t going to come solely from technology. The revolutionary change is going to come when the 73 million disillusioned, eligible American voters wake up and realize they could have enormous influence. When those 73 million individuals embrace and explore the power they wield, the entire political reality of the United States will be transformed.