Voter Turnout Essay

1414 words - 6 pages

PS 302
September 22, 2008
Paper # 1
Low Voter Turnout in the United States
Throughout American history, there has been a steady decline in voter turnout. Not only has this been “humiliating” for the United States, low voter turnout has been and always will be a threat to American Democracy. The concept of democracy is dependent on citizens actively participating in elections and voting to select representatives for public office. The government cannot be representative of the people, unless the people elect its representatives. Voter turnout is a major indicator of how citizens view their electoral system, and whether or not they believe that the system is working. There are ...view middle of the document...

Six states have enacted a good solution, same day registration, which has been proven to increase voter turnout anywhere from 10 to 17 percent (Donovan, 182). Same day voter registration allows qualified citizens to register to vote on the day that elections are held. Because many states do not allow same day registration, many Americans do not take the time and effort to register in the first place; same day registration helps to solve this problem. The registration process and electoral system also creates a problem of convenience.
Not only is the registration process inconvenient, Election Day itself is problematic. Election day is held on a Tuesday, impeding the majority of the population from voting due to work-related duties and responsibilities. The solution for this problem is to make Election Day a national holiday. If citizens did not have the responsibility to be at work, they would be much more likely to find time and take the effort to go out and vote. Other solutions have been offered, including: extending the voting period, enacting absentee ballot systems, and voting by mail. While all of these other solutions have made it easier, cheaper and more convenient for citizens to vote, the costs do not fully outweigh the benefits. In any kind of early voting solution, the biggest concern is that early voters vote without knowing all of the significant information needed to make a well-informed vote. Many occurrences and revelations come at the end of the campaigns and can no longer influence voters that have already voted and cannot change their selection.
A voter’s political attitude is the biggest indicator of whether or not he or she will vote. “Interest in the election, concern over outcome, feelings of civic pride, and political efficacy [all] affect how people vote” (Wayne, 83). Throughout American history, there has been a decline in partisan identification. Party allegiance is a stimulus for voting. Since citizens are not as loyal to partisanship as they were in the past, they have less incentive to actually go out and vote in elections. “As a group, independents are 12 percent less likely to vote than are strong partisans” (Wayne, 83). Along with the decline in party identification, interest in political campaigns has been declining steadily overtime as well.
In today’s society, politics is forced to compete with so many other things in the media or at home for people’s attention. Media audiences are more interested in human-interest and celebrity stories than they are in politics. Because of this, election coverage in the media has greatly declined. The media’s coverage of the election is dominated by the use of negative advertising and attack journalism. The frequent use of negative advertising in the media has played a role in America’s declining voter turnout. These negative advertisements repel potential voters; causing them to lose interest in the political campaign. Along with negative...

Other Papers Like Voter Turnout

Politics Essay

2413 words - 10 pages – confirm citizen consent to government and have the right to rule | * Voter fatigue – the more referendums held, the lower turnout becomes. Voters become tired of voting. | * Prevent unpopular decisions – people have the ability to stop the government making unpopular decisions, therefore keeping support.E.g. – 2004 North-East Referendum | * Complexity – many issues are too complex for the average person to make a judgement on. This leads

The Youth of Today Essay

1174 words - 5 pages often larger declines, than the items about attitudes. They then mention the high voter turnout of Millennials. However, Millennial youth voter turnout isn’t much different than GenX voter turnout. For example, among those 18-29, voter turnout was 23% in 2002, 26% in 2006, and 24% in 2010. The Pew study found that the youth turnout in 2009 and 2010 was low not just in absolute terms but relative to older voters. Thus I did not make the mistake

Election Day

1066 words - 5 pages It’s Election Day! (Does Anyone Really Care?) John F. Kennedy once said that “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” When I ran across this quote I realized that today is Election Day in Massachusetts and many local voters were heading to the polls to select new leadership. Now it’s a known fact that local voter turnout is never very high. We see more middle-aged citizens and the elderly turning out

The Importance Of Voting

1135 words - 5 pages to offer them some assistance with achieving this privilege. The following are reasons why it is important to vote in any election as long as one is alive and kicking: 1. First of all, voting is your right; use it: Voting is the chance to contribute to the political process, and the framework was made to work best when everybody partakes. Along these lines, utilizing your entitlement to vote is not only an expansion to the voter turnout

Gvpt 280 Quiz 1

842 words - 4 pages there is figure 3.1 on page 93, which is comparing voter turnout. Mexico has a higher voter turnout percentage than the United states. so clearly Mexican citizen are participating more in their government, so why is not a flourishing democracy like the U.S.? More than like due to the influence of the drug cartel that have over ran the country. Iran is also consider a liberal democracy by McCormick, he also refers to them as a Islamic state. As an

Online Voting

923 words - 4 pages lack the ability or technology to run a secure, internet-based election. Just imagine what would happen if suddenly everyone with an internet connection — anyone with a smartphone — could vote. Heck, why not go the whole hog and enable voting by SMS? On election day, just open up an app on your phone and cast a vote; it would take 30 seconds, tops. The entire landscape of voting would change overnight. For some 40 years, voter turnout has

Electoral Dysfunction

1096 words - 5 pages included the impact of voter identification laws on Election Day turnout and access to the ballot. What I found so interesting was Mo asks an old man if he's worried about election fraud and he says he is. Then Mo asks what kind of election fraud he's worried about. It takes the man just a moment to come up with an answer. He says, "Democrat." Of course, the purpose of it here is not to protect the electoral process but, to take certain classes of

The Electoral College System

550 words - 3 pages electoral votes in accordance with their popular vote percentages. This way, a candidate who comes in second place in a state with 45% of the popular vote would receive 45% of the electoral votes from that state, instead of 0%. This system would greatly increase voter turnout and the representation of all parties in a state. It would also encourage candidates to campaign in all states rather than just those that are competitive (Fairvote.org

Asses the Arguments in Favour of the Greater Use of Direct Democracy in the Uk (25)

581 words - 3 pages Democracy is defined as the government of the people, by the people and for the people. In a democracy people have influence over or access to decision making and everyone must be treated equally. Direct democracy is a system in which every voter can take part in reaching a decision. The most obvious modern version is referendum where people vote “yes” or “no” to a specific question. Switzerland holds referendum at least three times a year to

Should The Voting Age Be Lowered To 16?

1060 words - 5 pages everyone has the responsibility to actively participate in society. Thus, the problem of declining voter participation is an extremely serious one indeed. People are trying to come up with various solutions for this problem but the most debatable resolution is whether the voting age be lowered from eighteen to sixteen. What would persuade the government to lower the voting age to an even lower one than the young adults age of eighteen? On the other

Analyzing Barack’s Obama Campaigning for President 2012

3880 words - 16 pages heavily on the CBS’s sitcom “2 Broke Girls,” according to a Yahoo analysis of Federal Elections Commission data. The campaign bought detailed voter updates, issued every two weeks. The tools allowed campaign officials to determine — on a house by house basis, rather than on a Zip-code-by-Zip-code basis – how people were likely to vote and whether they were likely to vote at all. Voters were given “support” scores and “turnout” scores to tell

Related Essays

Voter Turnout In Canada Essay

1815 words - 8 pages the people and for the people.” In the last 50 years of Canadian history we have begun to see a decline in voter turnout; ranging from 80% of citizens voting in 1962, gradually dwindling to 59.1% in the year 2008 (Dickerson, Flanagan & O'Neill, 2010). It is important to understand why citizens vote the way they do in order to determine what may or may not be successful in regards to winning a majority government; factors that influence the

Low Voter Turnout In The United States

1491 words - 6 pages Throughout American history, there has been a steady decline in voter turnout. Not only has this been "humiliating" for the United States, low voter turnout has been and always will be a threat to American Democracy. The concept of democracy is dependent on citizens actively participating in elections and voting to select representatives for public office. The government cannot be representative of the people, unless the people elect its

Mandatory Voting As A Result Of Lower Voter Turnout Rate

1255 words - 6 pages Mandatory Voting as a Response to Declining Voter Turnout In many parts of the world, the act of voting is seen as an act that empowers citizens and an act that gives them a voice. However, with the decline of voter turnout, this voice seems to be coming from a select few, leaving political scientists wondering about the remaining of the population. In response to this situation, many have suggested making the act of voting, a mandatory one

Congress Approval Essay

711 words - 3 pages their ideas, how they handle the different situations we are in, or how they run our country. The amount of dissatisfaction with the government stems from the fact that there are officials in congress who are appointed versus being elected, public opinion is not being surveyed enough, and also, voter turnout also has depreciated significantly due to these things. According to You Can’t Vote Everyone in Congress Out. So, What Can You Do, 60