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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 differ greatly in many aspects of life, and voting is one of them. In the 1992 Presidential elections, women were found by the U.S. Census' Current Population Reports to have voted two percent more than men did. Of the 62% of women who did vote, more were found to have supported Bill Clinton rather than George Bush. the 1992 voter turnout numbers among white, African-American, and Hispanic women reflect the success of movements to increase female participation in the voting process. Programs like the League of Women Voters actively recruit women to "get out the vote." Today, the League also encourages men to vote, and men are welcomed as members. In its beginning, however, the League's sole purpose was to educate women about their rights as citizens and to discourage the popular belief that politics was a husband's job. Men have always possessed the right to vote, while women gained their voting privileges relatively recently. In general, women vote more than men do today because they are still catching up for lost time and votes.

Having already scrutinized voter turnout according to sex, the next obvious categorization of the population is age. In the 1992 elections, the greatest increase in voter turnout out of all categories was among the age groups of 18 to 24-year-olds and 25 to 44-year-olds. Before the 1992 turn-around for America's youth, turnout for the youngest age bracket was consistently the lowest of the population. this low voting rate was attributed to a general lack of feeling of responsibility. As young adults age, marry, and become parents, their sense of community and responsibility increases, while their apathy toward voting decreases, (Abramson 116). Another reason for low voter turnout numbers for 18 to 24-year-olds is their generally low levels of party loyalties. Not having strong party ties decreases one's incentive to vote.

Registration and voting organizations such as MTV's Rock the Vote have been accredited with increasing young Americans' voter turnout numbers. Rock the Vote's primary focus, since its founding in 1990, has been increasing voter registration within the nation's youngest age group. The organization frequently hosts Get-Out-the-Vote drives on college campuses and on concert tours in order to reach young people. since its beginning, support for Rock the Vote has been massive, and in 1992 it was recognized for influencing more than one million young voters to participate in electing their President.

Voter turnout for other age groups also increased in 1992,...

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