In America, one of the best ways we can voice our opinions and contribute to society is by casting a vote. Local, state and national elections allow citizens to participate in the shaping of our future. The youth of America play a big role in this country, as we are the future. However, the participation of young people in the voting process is absent in recent years. Martin P. Wattenberg discusses this topic in Is Voting For Young People, a compelling text which dives into the possible reasons young people feel less and less inclined to vote over the years.
There are a number of differences in the demographics between the ones that are and are not politically involved. Older people tend to vote more than the younger people by their concern toward the government, as well as the number of white Americans voting more than the other minority races would. The educated will vote more than the uneducated by having more knowledge of the election, along with families with higher income of over $65,000 having time to vote than the low income ones of $35,000 or under. The ones who shows party identification would want to get involved in politics, whereas independent individual would not care as much. People who grew up with specific ideology would want to have a say in politics, in contrast to those who did not.
However, there are several ways to combat this problem. One way to get more voters to show up at the polls is have election officials mail ballots to all registered voters. This makes it easy for registered voters to select their candidates on their own time. This method to obtain more voters is in place in two states currently, Oregon and Washington. This method has proved effective because “in the 2010 midterm elections, just [Oregon and Washington] exceed 70 percent participation” (Koas).
In the world of politics, voting is one of the most vital aspects to politicians, the local community, and the state. It gives the people who live in the communities a chance to let their voice and opinions be heard through their choice of who they want to represent them in political office or to take care of their town or city. Although many share this opinion, there are people who do not care to vote and do not get involved in politics. What is the underlying reason for this group of people to distance themselves from political affairs? Registering to vote can be a deterrent for many people because it requires effort to file all the correct paperwork and stay in good standing, which may be the cause for low voter turnout within Texas.
Imagine your 16 year old self. Would you not want to be voting in elections and make the right decisions towards politics? States in America are already lowering the age when you can vote to 16. Turn out of US voters below 25 at presidential elections fell from 50% in 1972 to 38% in 2012. The Asia-Pacific Economics Blog notes the young demographic is some of the most engaged, and by extending it to a younger age could fuel their passion for many years. The voting age should be lowered to 16 because youth will vote thoroughly, 16 is a better age to start voting, and voting will provide an intrinsic benefit to the lives of young people.
Since the 26th amendment there was already a small number of young voters voting. This was commented on in the article where Shin states that “They typically go to the polls in much smaller numbers than their elders.” This has been a trend seen in about every election ever since the 26th amendment was made. They hope that this new age limit will bring a better connection to younger teens and get them into a habit of voting for the rest of their lives (Shin). There was a study done to show that after 21 days of doing an activity, it becomes a habit.
In “ Race in Beyond: Why Young, Minority, and Low-income Citizens Don’t Vote,” Sam Fulwood III claims “ regardless of whether favored candidate won or a popular ballot initiative passed, our nation suffered because of a number of people who don’t vote at all” (par.2). I believe this too be true because I’m one of those Americans. However Americans change this, I can change this. Have you ever that expression, “The straw that broke the camel’s back”? Anyone of us Americans can be single straw.
Voting is one of the many civic duties, as an American citizen, that is the most exercised. In the recent years, the voter turnout has increased from the previous years, but the turnout is still less than desired. In the 2008 presidential election alone, 61.7% of the eligible United States population voted and 53.7% of the eligible Texan population voted. This is much better than previous years, but still does not show a collective effort on the part of all eligible populations to vote. Americans have been known to have low voter turnouts.
In the Bush verses Kerry election the participation was around 60 %, one of the highest rates in recent elections. It will be interesting to see the voter turnout this cycle with prospective matchup of Clinton vs Trump. Socioeconomic factors such as education have shown to have an effect on voter turnout. The more education one has the more likely they are to be involved in the process and vote.
In Austria, where the voting age has been lowered to 16, two thirds of the 16-18 year old age group voted. This proves that if we were to reduce the voting age, it could encourage younger citizens to become even more politically aware and even inspire some to pursue a career in politics. Personally, I think it is an unfair assumption that all millennials are considered to be narcissistic when certain studies have shown that they are intensely passionate about global warming, the corrupt government of North Korea and other pressing issues affecting the whole world. Granted, you do not often see two teenagers arguing over whether this year’s budget aided global warming research or not, but these young Australian citizens have their own way of expressing their political views. They start petitions online, call out politicians on social media and even go out to protests, standing up for what they believe in.
The serious lack of voter turnout contradicts this responsibility. There are individuals who speculate that it would be beneficial to make voting mandatory, with repercussions for those who do not vote. At the beginning of the course, I had believed that voting should be made mandatory. I thought that it would inspire people to vote, and would increase the numbers of turnout that way.
Hey jackson! I completely agree what you said in your discussion. The low voter turnout should not be worried about and that it is a good thing in general. The people should not vote if they are not interested or are not educated on the election. As you said, If you introduce and educate the people on politics this should help the low voter turnout in time.
There are plenty of reasons Texas has such a low voter turnout rate. One reason is because of the demographic Texas has. Another reason is that people really believe that their vote doesn’t matter. Finally a third reason is due to the fact that people are simply not educated. Voting will change our lives, if we just speak up everything will be just the way we want it.
Since the population has a lack of education, we do not think americans have the ability to vote wisely. We think