Q:

What are the benefits of voting?

A:

Most economists and political experts agree that the greatest benefit of voting is that it's the most effective way for the general population to communicate and provide feedback to the political powers-that-be. In addition to the political benefit, voting has other positive effects including that voters are more likely to be politically informed, to volunteer in their communities and to contact local community officials on important issues.

In addition to the political and economical benefits, voting is beneficial to mental health and well-being as well. Psychologist Marc Zimmerman, a professor at University of Michigan's School of Health, states that empowering oneself, or learning how to manage things that are under one's control, is an integral part to reducing stress and maintaining overall good health. Voting allows the voter to feel that sense of control and power over his future. No matter what the outcome of the election, voters reap the psychological benefits of exercising their rights and being involved in their political communities.

For those with a history of depression or mental health problems that stem from economical or social disadvantages, voting may provide the most benefit. "I think that people who are on the wrong sides of the disadvantage divide, measured according to anything -- health, income, quality of community, or job status -- those are the people who stand to benefit most," says Lynn Sanders, PhD., an associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia.


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