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How Far Do We Go To Increase Voter Turnout?

1018 words - 4 pages

The only thing consistent about voter turnout in America has been its decline. Many voice the concerns of our lack of participation when it comes to voting. However, their efforts seem somewhat ineffective since there are still many that hardly respond to politics. Out of twenty-one democracies, the United States placed twentieth in voter turnout for presidential elections. Only Switzerland has lower voter turnout than in the United States.The truth remains that only about 50 percent of Americans vote in the presidential election; a third of Americans vote in midterm congressional elections. Voter turnout islow because eligible voters don't take the time to know the candidates, are too busy with their daily lives, think it's pointless to vote, or lack the interest to do so. Participation for smaller elections is by far worse. So what could we do to resolve this nonvoting situation? One suggestion was made my Matt Miller and his idea for turning the election into a lottery. The advantage to this would be that people will be rewarded for participating. Our country gets its increase in voter turnout while the people get someextra cash in their pockets. But is it really a win-win situation? What about the disadvantages of turning the election into a lottery? Would the lottery do more harm thangood?It is true that one of the most effective ways to get people to do anything, is through money. Money has proven to make people do even the craziest things, like go out on reality shows where men dress up as women in order to get their hands on a quarter of a million dollars. Therefore, a simple act like voting would easily give people a reason tovote in elections. But who in the right mind would offer millions of dollars to the people, just to get them to participate in elections? Matt Miller suggests companies like Coke or Anheuser-Busch pick up the tab in exchange for letting them advertise on the stub thatserves as our ticket. Sure it would make elections a whole lot entertaining, but do Americans need to go so far as to change the entire perspective of voting just for increasein voter turnout? Changing the election into a lottery could actually blind the people and their reasons on why they should vote. It would no longer be about who was suitable to be the next President or Vice-President of the United States, but more like who would be the next $10 million winner? Are these the kind of choices we want our future leaders to be based on? It's bad enough that most Americans are highly uneducated when it comes to politics. Would we want our fellow citizens to make these important decisions just for that lottery ticket stub? We should be more concerned with the issues of the candidates and what they could do to help us as a society, rather than us help ourselves due to our greed for money.How harmful is low voter turnout? Chapter 5 in The Democratic Debate [pg.123] tells us that "Voter turnout in the United States is something to worry about, because...

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