To be honest, I am considering this question for the first time as I write this blog post. I have never thought about being single in terms of my voting position. I have always thought about voting as a way to express myself as a Christian, as a believer in social justice, as a conservationist. The idea of my marital status affecting my vote is a fairly new one.
That said, I think being single does have an impact on how I vote, and I think it’s important that I explore that. After all, married people and parents are certainly influenced by those titles when they vote.
- As a single, child-free person, I’m less likely to consider education a deciding factor in casting my vote. I believe education is important, of course. I believe that the better educated the entire population is, the more prosperous and stable our nation will be. I do care about the state of education, because I believe that God wants me to take care of “the least of these”–to work towards justice for even the poorest and least powerful members of society. But when it comes down to the whys and wherefores of how the education system works, I am not affected directly because I have no children in the system.
- As a single person, I see no reason for the government to tell people whom they can or cannot marry–or to define family at all. I’ve read accounts gay couples who have been in a committed relationship for decades, only to be denied access to one another in the healthcare system or long-term care system. As an adult who has redefined my family to include several of my friends, I want my best friend to have a say in what care I receive, if I am incapable of making those decisions myself.
- As a single person, I support the Affordable Care Act. When it comes down to it, married people have twice as many healthcare options. If a wife’s insurance is twice as good as her husband’s, they go with hers, and vice versa. A single person only has one shot at good healthcare, and if her employer doesn’t have good insurance (or doesn’t offer insurance at all), she’s screwed. In addition, single people are living on the income of, you guessed it, a single person. Married people often have two incomes, or at least they have the potential of two incomes, which may alleviate some healthcare-related expenses.
On the flip side, there are some issues where being single doesn’t necessarily influence my vote.
- I am single and celibate, so you would think I would care less about insurance providing birth control. On the contrary, however, I take birth control for a number of medical reasons entirely unrelated to whether or not I’m having sex.
- Since I have no children to inherit the earth after me, you might expect I would care less about environmental issues. After all, it only has to last long enough for me to live my life, right? Yes, I’m being overly cynical here, but it seems many people have a perception of single people as irresponsible and self-centered. We aren’t, not all of us, anyway. I think it’s important to treat the Earth as the precious creation it is, and I vote accordingly.
These are the issues that come to mind most readily when I think about how being single affects my vote. What about the rest of you? Are there things I’ve failed to mention? How does your marital status affect how you vote? Chime in below!
- Onely’s Adventures in Accounting: The Math of Marital Status Discrimination (onely.org)
- Why Single People Are So Financially Stressed (money.usnews.com)
- Single and Planning For The Future (lawprofessors.typepad.com)