The Decrease In Voter Turnout Essay

1441 words - 6 pages

The United States presidential election of 2012 was the 57th presidential election. The election was held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. The Democratic political leader was the incumbent President Barack Obama, and his candidate was vice President Joe Biden. Throughout this election the proportion of eligible voters who cast ballots shows that the rate was lower than in the past two presidential elections. Voter turnout decreased from 62.3 percent of eligible citizens voting in 2008 to an estimated 57.5 in 2012. The above calculation was also below the 60.4 percent in 2004 election, however above the 54.2 percent turnout in the 2000 election. Despite a rise of over eight million voters within the fitted population, turnout dropped from 131 million voters in 2008 to an estimated 126 million voters in 2012. When all ballots were computed, some 93 million eligible voters didn’t vote. There must be some contributing factors to see why there's a decline in voters’ turnout.
To examine this decline in voter turnout we must consider several factors. One of those factors is that there is no political efficacy. Political efficacy means that people are less likely to vote if they don't believe that their vote will be counted, or if they don't trust the government. Little faith in the electoral process leads to a conviction that a person's vote doesn't really matter. Citizens show lack of interest in politics because they have limited information about the government. The percentage of Americans who say they have “trust and confidence” in the presidency and Congress has decreased in the past decades. Americans’ Trust in government was 70% in 1960s, and then decreased to 40% in 1980s. A recent survey from Pew Research Center showed that “Only 22 percent of Americans say they trust the government ‘just about always’ or ‘most of the time.” Pew also mentioned "fewer than 20% of Americans were in approval of congress.” The government should be held accountable for not including the public in governmental affairs, and because of this detachment the public has insufficient political knowledge.
Why do Americans have limited amount of political knowledge? It’s because the public lacks interest in politics. They rely on group/party loyalty, rather than reasoning. Their responses change randomly from survey to survey. Recent research shows that the public knows some basic things. For example, they know the location of the capital and the length of president’s term, but they lack knowledge about other basic things. About 50% know there are 2 senators for each state, and only 66% know which party controls the House. They show high instability of their preferences, so explosion of information sources has not helped. The authors Greenburg and Page believe that political “trivia” may not be a good measure of adequate knowledge. They also mentioned that the reason for the instability of preference is because people change their minds and reflect on multidimensional ideology....

Find Another Essay On The Decrease in Voter Turnout

For the First Time- Voter ID Card with photo in Assam

794 words - 3 pages The main purpose of your Voter ID Card and name in the Voters’ List is to gain you access to the polling booth. Getting an access to the Electronic Voting Machine or the ballot box is of utmost priority for the considerate citizens who take out some time from their totally busy schedules to cast a vote for the betterment of the nation. Therefore, the process of allowing access to the polling booth is something which should be done with utmost...

Q. Porter (2001) suggests that the Internet will increase rather than decrease the importance of strategic management in the future. Critically assess this viewpoint.

1786 words - 7 pages Porter (2001) summarises the relative advantages of the Internet and how these are worthless without a strategic approach in his article. He uses his own five forces analysis to analyse the "underlying forces of competition" and states that this analysis is still necessary to "illuminate" areas...

Voter Turnout?

2030 words - 8 pages Voter turnout has been declining in the United States throughout history through the potential voters’ personal choice not to vote and ineligibility. According to research a large percentage of individuals are not voting because political parties fail to appeal to the voters and this leads to the voting population losing interest in the campaign, while others postpone registering and by the time they realize their delay the election is upon them....

Factors Which Influence Youth Voter Turnout

1319 words - 5 pages Voting is a political liberty of many law-abiding citizens of the United States of America. In terms of voter turnout and voting behaviors, there are two rival schools of thought. This research will examine what factors cause youth voting to be lower than that of older voters. The first school of thought, which can be referred to as conventional wisdom argues that persons under the age of thirty are least likely of all age groups to vote...

Voter Turnout

1603 words - 6 pages The Problem Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines democracy "as a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by the people" (www.merriam-webster.com). But the one big problem is that "We the people" are not exercising their "supreme power" to determine the U.S. government. Less than half of the eligible electorate showed up at the polls for the 1996 U.S. presidential election. While lower turnout...

News Coverage of Political Campaigns and its Negative Affects

978 words - 4 pages News Coverage of Political Campaigns and its Negative Affects Have you ever turned on the TV to watch the news during election year? News programs constantly bombard the public with campaign coverage that negatively affects the way people vote. The most noticeable effect the TV news media causes is a decrease in voter attendance at the ballot boxes. News coverage of political campaigns reduces voter turnout because of the negative campaign...

Examining Low Young Voter Turnout

1408 words - 6 pages One of our most, and many would argue, the most valuable rights as citizens of a democracy is our right to vote. It gives us a voice in the direction our elected representatives steer our country. Unfortunately, historically young voters are underrepresented due to their low voting turnout. This came as a shock to me being a young voter myself. Growing up in California I was excited about getting the chance to vote, to have a voice as it were....

World Issues as discussed by Lani Guinier, Malcolm Gladwell, and Eric Schlosser.

1260 words - 5 pages Nick StrykerExpository WritingBill MabeNovember 11, 2002Final DraftPaper 5In "The Power of Context," Malcolm Gladwell explains how situations influence the behavior of human beings. In the essay "Second Proms and Second Primaries," Lani Guinier discusses some of the causes of low voter turnout among the black population in

What Factors Affect Voter Turnout and Election Results

1080 words - 4 pages Voter turnout, as well as election results, depend upon and are effected by several different factors. Everything from family status to beliefs about abortion can determine how a person will vote. In my presentation, however, I focused on three aspects that effect voter turnout and elections. I found, in my research, that a voter's age, sex and party identification greatly factor into how a person will cast his or her vote. Men and women...

America Needs Greater Voter Participation

1899 words - 8 pages Government and Politics – America Needs Greater Voter Participation We may live in a country that encourages voting in political elections, yet the level of voter turnout in America is relatively small and continues to decline. Compared to other countries with democratic governments, the United States falls very near the bottom of the list with its percentage of voter participation. One explanation for this disturbing phenomenon states...

How to conduct search for Voter ID details through SMS?

644 words - 3 pages Knowing your Voter ID Details is of immense importance when the motive of the citizens is to be well endowed with the proper documents that would ensure a smooth entry into polling booth at the time of elections. With the election commission's constant efforts to ease out every process related to the voter id card, there is a plethora of ways with which people can now easily proceed with various formalities relating to the Voter ID Card in...

Similar Essays

Youth Voter Turnout In Canada Essay

1175 words - 5 pages Canada is a society built on the promise of democracy; democracy being defined as “government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” In order to operate at full potential, the people of Canada must voice their opinions and participate fully in the political system. This is why it’s shocking to see that people...

Improving Low Voter Turnout In The United States

670 words - 3 pages In our system of government we are privileged with the option to take part in the political process that runs the country. It is our right to vote that lets the people influence change in policy and set the guidelines that politicians must follow to be elected representatives. This precious ability, which is most coveted in most non-democratic countries, is taken for granted in our own. I believe that the low voter turnout in most...

Explain Why Voter Turnout Has Been Declining In The Past Half Of The Century And Why Voter Turnout In Presidential Years Is Higher Than That In Midterm Elections.

932 words - 4 pages Voter Turnout in Federal ElectionsIn the past half of the twentieth century, researchers observed a decline in the voter turnout in federal elections. It has also been observed that the voter turnout has been higher in presidential elections than...

The Cause Of Voter Apathy In Canada

1343 words - 5 pages What causes voter apathy? Why, in the most recent federal and provincial elections, did roughly 40% of eligible voters stay home? Perhaps candidate A, running for party A led by leader A, is not perceived as being significantly different from, or better than, candidate B, running for party B led by leader B. This lack of perceived difference between candidate-party-leader A and candidate-party-leader B, is not the only problem in an election....