FA13 SOCI-101-1099 Prin. of Sociology -Online-
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
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This two-step process -- register, then vote -- is more complicated than the process in many other countries and discourages Americans from voting. In Austria, Canada, Germany, France and Belgium, voter lists are generated from larger population databases or by other government agencies, thus simplifying the voting process.” (Freidman) And the voter registration database feeds the jury duty selection process in most states, which is another reason people don’t like to register to vote. In addition in several other countries, electronic voting is accepted and widely utilized which increases the convenience factor substantially for voting. Finally many Americans suffer from “voter fatigue” . "Frequency of Elections: Probably no electorate in the world is called to vote more frequently than citizens in the U.S. For example, while British voters may go to the polls twice in a four-year election cycle (once for Parliamentary elections and once for local elections), Americans are called upon to vote in as many as 10 or more primary and general elections in the same period. Some scholars believe "election fatigue" may help explain why many voters fail to vote in every election opportunity." (13 Elections) Another key factor in our voting process that experts cite as an issue that is impacting our voter turn-out is the convoluted Electoral System that is used for Presidential elections because a President can win the election without winning the