Voter Turnout

Topics: Voter turnout, Elections, Election Pages: 2 (602 words) Published: November 1, 2008
Voter turnout is defined as a number of voters who actually cast ballots in an election, to a percentage of people eligible to register and vote. About half of the voting age population historically does not vote, even in presidential elections. The voter turnout is even lower in off year congressional and state elections. Turn out in local elections is even lower. Voter turn out is always higher in years with a presidential election. Voter turn out has generally declined since the 1960’s. Voter turnout can take a huge upswing when the elections have highly contested issues with differing candidate platforms. To exam this decline in voter turnout we must consider several factors. One of those factors is voter registration; the process of voter registration is a major obstacle of voting. Registration usually occurs far before peak interest rises, it may involve a trip to the courthouse where most people try to avoid. The procedure at times is more complicated than voting itself. Approximately 85% of registered voters turn out for a presidential election, but this only represents about half of those persons eligible to vote. This 35% discrepancy directly suggests that the registration process itself is a significant barrier to participation. The entire registration process came about to reduce fraud and ensure the security of the voters and candidates. This security measure was considered an appropriate trade off. Another factor we must consider is the ballots themselves. We are not to far removed from the hanging chad fiasco. The new age voters, who trust electronic voter submission are still in the minority when it comes to total numbers of voters. It is generally recommend to go with touch screen voting machines, carefully designed ballot layouts, better trained poll workers, uniform rules for recounts, and better voter education programs, we are not there yet. Still another factor to consider in our state of Texas is that of Spanish speaking...
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