Voter Turnout and Political Efficacy

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Voter turnout and political efficacy amongst a people are crucial to the proper maintenance of a democratic society. In order for changes to be made and the largest amount of voices to be heard, people must feel like their vote counts, and that a direct result to their vote is a response from the government. As former US President Dwight David Eisenhower once quoted, “The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter,” and for this reason political scientists commonly inquire on what factors cause a variance in voter turnout. These factors may be socio-economic, do age, income, culture or religion play a role in who votes and who doesn’t? ; political affiliation, do democrats vote more than republicans, or vice-versa? ; or education, does a person’s level of education cause variance in their turnout? The last factor, education’s effect on voter turnout, is the one in which I am most curious to examine. Before starting my junior year of high school I had no interest or knowledge in politics. I was indifferent to the outcome of elections or the interests of political parties. That year, however, I took my first AP class in US government and learned more about how elections are run, the political spectrum, and our democratic nation as a whole. After being educated in politics my urge to vote grew dramatically, and I was sure to vote in my first mid-term elections this fall. For these reasons and many other foreseeable trends in our society, my hypothesis is that higher levels of education have a positive relationship with higher levels of voter turnout. When people are more informed about what is going on in politics, I believe that they better understand the importance that voting has on our country and make the effort to go to the polls. In my research, I will examine the relationship between education and voter turnout, controlling for political affiliation. Education level is the independent variable, voter turnout is the dependant variable,...
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