Why Is Voter Turnout Low in Us

In: Social Issues

Submitted By davestator
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FA13 SOCI-101-1099 Prin. of Sociology -Online-
Essay

Why is United States Voter Turn-out so Low

Question 4) What are some explanations for why voter turnout is so low in the U.S. compared to other wealthy, literate and democratic countries?

INTRODUCTION Voter turnout is the rate by which people vote in elections. The simplest way to calculate a given election's turnout rate is to compare the actual number of voters with the voting-age population. “Voter turnout in the United States is among the worlds’ lowest.” (E.S. 371) The graph below taken from an article written for the Huffington Post in 2012, illustrates how poor United States voter turnout has been as compared to other industrialized nations. Our voter turnout is less than half of the turnout in Belgium and Australia for example and it is getting worse. "Starting in the early 60's, the proportion of the population that turns out to vote in the U.S. steadily decreased, to the point where only slightly more than half the electorate voted in presidential elections in the last three decades of the 20th century" (E.S. 370) [pic]

Although there are several factors that contribute to low voter turnout in the United States, three factors appear to have the most direct influence. • Voter Registration and Voting Processes in the United States make it more difficult to vote as compared to other nations. • The Decline of Social Capital in the United States • The decline in the strength of our political parties has contributed to voter apathy

Voter Registration, the Voting Process and the Electoral System Our registration and voting processes are difficult and inconvenient and we are asked to vote too frequently. The first issue is our registration process. “Convenience impacts voter turnout. In the United States, in all but one state, voters must go through…...

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