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Causes Of Low Electoral Participation In The United States

805 words - 3 pages

Causes of Low Electoral Participation in the United States

In any Democracy, voter turnout is important as a measure of how truly
democratic the election was, the more people that do vote, the more
democratic the election. Yet America one of the largest democratic
nations in the world still has a poor turnout.

A survey conducted in 1983 concluded that America was twenty third out
of twenty four nations in respect of its voter turnout, with only
Switzerland having a lower turnout, however researchers believe that
the supposed voting age population contains a lot of people not
eligible to vote, as much as 10%.

According to Kenneth Dolbeare's research conducted in 1987, 67% of the
richest 5th of the population turned out to vote, but at the other end
of the socio economic scale only 30% turned out to vote. It seems that
the poorer end of society have less political interest, possibly due
to disillusionment with the system; in a race where candidates are
exclaiming there views on budgetary management or even as far as tax
cuts/rises, it makes little differences to the lives of the poor,
therefore they are willing to settle with whatever happens assuming it
will make no difference to them.

In America there electoral system resembles a modified version of the
British first past the post system therefore if you live in an
electoral college that has voted Democrat time and time again, it may
seem like a wasted vote if you support the Republicans. Also the
success polls that are conducted from the very first primaries and
caucuses right up to election day build voter apathy. Statistically
those who do higher in these polls the better they will do in the
election, assuming that people vote without partisan alignment, they
aren't going to vote for a candidate who is unlikely to do well in the

The US voting system includes voter registration, controlled at a
state level, often it is a longwinded process, with many forms, and a
lot of scrutiny over who gets to...

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