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I touched on the issue of nonvoting in last week's free American Government video on Voter Turnout. From that lecture we know that on average only about 50% of American citizens vote. An example of this is in the 1996 presidential election; President Clinton received 50 million votes, which represented only 25% of the 200 million potential voters. That's a small percentage to elect the top elected official in our government!

In today's video on Nonvoting, Professor Mark Rom doesn't come out immediately and state nonvoting is a problem for American democracy, instead he starts by looking at who votes and why to explain why anyone would not vote in the first place. Interestingly, people with higher educations, people who are older, and people who are white tend to have higher voting rates than others.  There are many reasons for this that are discussed in the lecture, but what is important to take away from this is the reasons why these people are less likely to vote. Apathy, contentment, discontentment, and low confidence all can be reasons for why people don't vote. Some don't see this as a problem because those who don't vote are less informed about or connected to politics. Accordingly, if they did vote, there is a good chance it would not truly represent their interests in government. But, others see this as a big part of the problem where those who don't vote aren't being properly represented in government, resulting in a government that only serves those who do vote. Either way, there are a few changes that could be made to our voting regulations that might encourage more folks to vote. From simplifying registration requirements, simplifying the voting process, or making Election Day a national holiday, there are plenty of possible solutions to increase voter turnout. Check out today's lecture to get the facts so you can make your own decision on the issue of nonvoting.


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I think that is not fair if people with higher education, people who are older, and people who are white tend to have higher voting rates than others. That is not good for others. They should vote, so they can choose who will be right as their leader.

Mary from capricorne insecte 

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This page contains a single entry by April Stockwell published on May 11, 2011 1:40 PM.

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