Voter Turnout and Compulsory Voting Laws

Topics: Voter turnout, Elections, Election Pages: 3 (923 words) Published: January 9, 2002
Are you a registered voter? You might expect a high rate of voting in the United States. A lot of people – women, African Americans, and the poor – fought for the right to vote; certainly their descendents would want to exercise their right to vote. I want to discuss with you today the importance of voting. There are three important aspects of voting. The first aspect is the group of people that fail to vote, the second is why there is such a low turnout, and finally is the voters' attitude. Voting should be a sacred right held by each American citizen. In fact, the voting turnout in the United States is remarkably low. A few years ago, over 100 countries were ranked on turnout; Americans were ranked twelfth from the bottom. Suffrage in the United States has been a long battle to extend the right to vote from a small group of property-owning white males to virtually all persons over the age of eighteen. Therefore you would think all of us would go out and exercise our right to vote. It is a privilege that was fought for by our fore fathers. We could at least do our part to uphold the right to vote. The first aspect of voting is the group of people that fail to vote. According to Gergen in the 1990, U.S. News & World Report, it is said that the two important nonvoting factors in nonvoting are education and income. The Education increases one's capacity for understanding complex and intangible subjects such as politics, as well as encouraging the ethic of civic responsibility. Income is a significant factor, a large number of Americans are poor, and even a larger number haven't gone beyond a high school level. Therefore, income is a basic factor in the turnout and education only a reinforcing factor.

According to the online Internet website in 1996, "Voting Statistics- West Virginia Party Registration," the older we are the more likely we are to vote. Persons eighteen to twenty-four have a poor voting record. Also the longer we have...

References: (1996). Voting Statistics-West Virginia Party Registration. [On-line], Available:
Burns, J.M., Cronin, T.E.E, & Peltason, J.W. (1981). Government by the people. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Gergen, D.R. (1990, June 25). An age of indifference. U.S. News 7 World Report , 108, 68
Gilette, W. (1965). The right to vote. Baltimore: John Hopkins Press.
Kolbe, R.L. (1985). American political parties. New York: Harper & Row. Ladd, E.C., Jr. (1987). Where have all the voters gone? New York: W.W.
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Malchow, H. (1998, July). Predicting voter turnout: A new targeting approach. Campaigns & Elections, 19, 44.
O 'Connor, K., & Sabato, L.J. (1995), American government: Roots and reform. Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon.
Pomper, G.M. (1992). Voters, elections, and parties: The practice of democratic theory. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.
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