The Pros And Cons Of Low Voter Turnout

I. Introduction
The United States holds a belief that it is the paragon democratic country and it is an example that other democratic nations should follow. A democracy is a system of government in which people choose leaders by voting. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, it is “a government of the people, by the people, for the people” (The Gettysburg Address). A pure direct democracy, in theory, can occur through direct democracy where the people vote on nearly every issue that arises, but no such democracy exists in the world. The alternative is an indirect democracy, where people vote to elect representatives, who make the decisions for the country on behalf of the majority of people. The United States is the latter type of democracy, and
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How can America claim to be the epitome of democracy and yet have declining participation in one of the main parts of a democracy- voting? Voter turnout is low due to several reasons; some are voter registration, the electoral system, voting procedures and political efficacy (Roberts 24, 30, 35, 36). Although some people in the academic community might disagree, most scholars concur that high voter turnout is an enviable trait.
II. Why Is Voter Turnout Low
A. Voter Registration Arguably, one of the most prevalent reasons for low voter turnout is voter registration. Though voter registration is present throughout the world, there are two main types: self-initiated (also known as “active” or “affirmative” systems) and state-initiated (also known as “automatic” or “passive” systems) (“Voter Registration”). The United States follows the self-initiated method and despite its benefits, it also some legitimate disadvantages. Privacy is protected in this method, since the registration process does not require private information; this system also creates a specific voter list for electoral processes (Roberts, 25). On the other hand, the self-initiated process tends to leave eligible voters out of the process since many people
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Reasons for low voter turnout could be a procedural one like voter registration barriers or it could be an ideological reason such as political efficacy of potential voters. That is not to say that all of the factors contributing to low turnout are to be considered equal in their accountability. In order to increase voter turnout and get more citizens to cast thier ballots, reforms must be made. Voter registration should be more accessible to the public and easier to complete; a system should be created where all eligible citizens are registered, like a state-initiated system, but allows the proper authorities to keep track of the voter registration lists. Since it would be difficult to change the winner-takes-all system the nation has now, seeing that there is only one seat for the presidency, the public’s faith in their electors should be strengthened by making it so that the electors would have to take the majority vote into account, which would raise their political efficacy in the election process. Finally, one of the most important reforms that could be introduced to indefinitely increase voter turnout would be to make voting mandatory. Though one factor can be argued to have more culpability than another, it should be noted that it is the cumulative effect of all the factors stated above, and probably some not discussed factors, that together make voter

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