Essay On Voter Turnout In America

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Introduction

Franklin D. Roosevelt once stated, “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.” At the heart of any successful democracy is the idea of citizen participation – that the people dictate the path their government takes. In countries like the United States of America, citizens demonstrate their opinions by voting for representatives who will adequately champion the ideas they were voted for.
In theory, this is an excellent idea for a governmental system. As long as an adequate portion of the population participates in voting for their representative,
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An examination of the voter turnout percentages of the U.S. presidential election demonstrates how the voter percentage was once around 80%, but has dropped to around 60% within the last century. (Appendix A). An examination of voter turnout by age demonstrates how the younger an individual is, the less likely they are to vote (Appendix B). According to the Center for Voting and Democracy, the voter turnout rate are affected by four main factors: demographics, voting laws, election types, and electoral representatives.
Demographics is the most important. In terms of age, young people are much less likely to vote than older ones. From 1972 to 2012, citizens of 18-29 years of age turned out with a rate of 15-20% less of turnout that citizens 30 years and older. In terms of ethnicity, in 2012, only 48% and 47% of eligible Latino and Asian American voters respectively voted, compared to 64% and 66% of eligible white and black voters respectively. Regarding socioeconomic status, research has shown that wealthy Americans vote at much higher rate than lower socioeconomic status citizens. People making less than $15,000 a year had a voter turnout of 41%, whereas those making more than $15,000 a year had a voter turnout of 78% in 2008 presidential

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