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The Biggest Threat to Our Democracy Isn’t Hackers or Fake News. It’s Apathy

Fortune: “The headlines today are filled with talk about outside forces imperiling our democracy. But, the truth is that the biggest threat we are facing is us. It’s the apathy that keeps voters home in droves on Election Day, giving the U.S. one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the developed world. We have been hearing a lot of voices warning about the dangers of indifference lately—and it’s time we started listening. Voting is a hard-won right, a weighty responsibility and an incredible privilege that we too often take for granted here in the U.S. In the 2016 presidential election, 40% of the people eligible to vote stayed home instead. That’s 102 million people who “voted” for apathy, more votes than any other candidate got. As a CEO, if there’s something I can do to ensure our employees get a chance to stand up and be counted, I’m not going to hesitate [the author of this article, Chip Bergh, is president and chief executive officer of Levi Strauss & Co. and serves on the company’s board of directors.] That’s why this week we’re joining Walmart, Patagonia, PayPal, and other leading companies in the “Time to Vote” campaign, pledging to give our employees paid time off to vote—and we urge others to join us.

The top three reasons that potential voters gave for staying home, according to the Pew Research Center, were that they didn’t like the candidates or issues (25%), they weren’t interested or felt their voice wouldn’t make a difference (15%), and that they were too busy or had a scheduling conflict (11%)…”

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