According to the website Answers.com, there are about 18 million adults who are not eligible to vote, but there are something over 57 million people who are just don't bother to register, and only 70 percent of those who are registered show up at the polls. That leaves the makeup of Congress to be decided by about 40 percent of the electorate. It's no wonder few citizens are ever satisfied with their representatives.
But if people don't register, vote and keep track of what their elected officials are doing, it's their own fault if they end up with terrible representation. Politicians know they can ignore them because non-voters have chosen to be ignored.
If politicians knew voters were all registered and that nearly all of them would be at the polls for every election, they would never dare ignore their concerns. If people said climate change and extreme weather were concerns, officials would listen and act.
If people said they cared about breathable air and safe drinking water, about a healthy Chesapeake Bay with its seafood and the traditional jobs it provides, they would listen and act.
If people said expanded Social Security, control of medical costs, good schools, a living wage, plentiful jobs, safe infrastructure, controls on banks and other big corporations mattered, you can be sure the politicians would listen and act.
As long as non-voters sit on the sidelines, they are asking to be ignored. The politicians will be listening to someone else, knowing the 20 percent who support them can get them re-elected.