What affects Voter turnout in the United StatesEthan Paskewicz Yu OuyangPolitical Analysis 30000012/12/17Abstract The factors that affect voter turnout in the united states has been a topic of interest in the research world for many years. These factors may include who votes, why people vote and what demographic is more likely to vote . This study analyzes the voter turnout among different demographics, more specifically among It questions how differences in race and background play a pivotal role in voter turnout and who is more likely to vote for who in elections. The study will be conducted through the use of an interaction analysis. Its goal is to increase the amount of knowledge regarding effective communication and how it relates to Voter turnout in order to ultimately aid in the rise of voter turnout and decrease the number of people who do not vote in presidential elections in the United States. I would like to look in the question of ” What effects voter turnout in the United States and different democracies ?” Today, voter turnout in america has decreased, not going out and voting is considered a very common part of life and the electoral process after all this is our right to vote or not vote, however the question is why do so many people choose not to vote. We the united states rank at one of the lowest out of all liberal democracies in voter turnout rate, why is this? what contributing factors play a role in these low numbers. When researching my topic I found that the effectiveness of voting is likely connected to the overall satisfaction in the voter candidate relationship and is worthy to be studied in order to increase voter turnout rate.
Learning more about the different factors that play a role in voter turnout in the united states is a broad study, therefore many different areas of research have to be assessed. Voter turnout is an important issue because it is at the very core of our nations beliefs and morals. This study will follow the following pattern, first a review of the existing literature, my theory and hypothesis on voter turnout, research design methods and finally a conclusion to my findings. When looking at the existing literature in this field of study we find that Voter turnout has been declining across the globe since the beginning of 1990s. Such a trend in democratic participation has raised many concerns among election officials . Since its establishment in 1995, International IDEA has done research on voter participation. One outcome of this the Voter Turnout database.
The database is acknowledged as a well-respected resource for researchers, media, practitioners and other stakeholders. International IDEA has also published several publications on the topic of voter participation, which have inspired further research and debates in the elections field.Declining voter turnout signals the deep problems democracies are facing today.Lower turnout suggests that fewer citizens consider elections the main instrument for legitimizing political parties’ control over political decision- making. As seen in Mark n Franklin’s 2004 study voter turnout regularly makes the news as compared to other countries our numbers are low, in other countries such as south Africa where voters stand in the hot sun for hours waiting in line to vote, this instance is rare in the united states where we often hear concerns in numbers of people who got out and voted. However it is not what it seems With that being said, in the case of south Africa this story is from South Africa’s first free public election, so of course numbers will be high. According to an international idea study , “A number of studies have been conducted to investigate the causes of such a consistent decline in voter turnout in the post-communist countries of Europe. One of the most frequently cited causes draws on the ‘founding elections’ hypothesis, which suggests that the first elections after the end of authoritarian rule attract greater voter engagement and that this enthusiasm declines in later elections.
” So it is evident that over time voter engagement and enthusiasm will fall by the wayside and thus lead to a decline in voter numbers and participation. When reviewing these studies and sources I found that the prior literature was strong in the areas of explaining how and why voter turnout has decreased in democracies around the world. However the studies could have gone into more detail on why certain demographics voted less than others. There are many social and economic factors that play a pivotal role in what affects voter turnout. Furthermore culture often plays a role too. In a culture where not voting in an election is considered acceptable we today see the effects of this. The first factor that plays a role in decreasing voter numbers is surprisingly gender,The gender gap in voter turnout is often the source of debate among practitioners, activists, electoral management bodies policymakers and researchers, who are keen to understand whether turnout differs between men and women, and identify the possible reasons for this.
Studies conducted so far on gender differences in voter participation have found different results the only problem with this factor is such data are not available in most countries, for that reason I did not look too deeply into this factor. However this will bring me into my next point of research corruption. Corruption has always been a part of politics, always has and always will be corruption also stretches to the section of voter turnout, according to a study done by Daniel Stockemer, Lamontagne and Scruggs, the question is brought forward, “Do high levels of corruption push electorates to avoid the polls or to turn out in larger numbers?” Through instrumental variables regression the study found that as corruption increases the percentage of voters who go to the polls decreases. Moving along according to a socio economic study on voter turnout three main factors came forward, population size, population stability, and economic development.
In the united states however more so in the united states closeness of elections plays a big role in voter turnout,The decision to vote is influenced by the probability that an individual vote will have an impact on the election result. Next is perception of the political issues at stake,The degree to which different election outcomes might lead to a different direction in the policies of the government on important issues will affect turnout. These last two factors are the most common situations in the united states today, many citizens believe that their vote will not make a difference in the outcome of the election so choose not to vote, also as evident in this past election high charged political issues at hand will also affect voter turnout. Overall this literature that I found was very informative and enlightening I found a substantial amount of information on both socio economical factors as well as cultural factors to why people choose not to vote or partake in the electoral process, however one area that I found was weak in this study was why certain demographics do not vote. I would like to know why that is or if one race or gender tends to vote more than the other. It was stated in studies that in other counters men tend to vote more than women but the resigning behind it provided mixed results.
I would like to know if in the United States there are stronger areas of voter turnout compared to other areas. My next section I would like to look into is my theory and hypothesis on voter turnout. To start off there is just not one single theory we can base the decline of voter turnout on . Furthermore their is not one single theory on what affects voter turnout in the United States and other democracies This is a complex issue. For voter turnout their are many different moving parts that go into the situation. Many institutional variables play a role in voter turnout. I would like to stress the role of institutions in the democratic system, institutions have a direct impact on election results and the electoral system of the united states In the united states like other democracies, voter turnout has been on the decline. Voting age is a key factor in Franklin’s (2004) study of turnout dynamics.
Franklin estimates that the lowering of the voting age in most democracies has produced a turnout decline of about three percentage points. This right here could be one theory on what affects voter turnout, the age of the participants. In democratic elections, a key factor is a voter’s willingness to participate. This is how elections work. In modern democracies thousands of people are eligible to vote in each election.
An individual vote cast in such an election will conceivably have an effect on its outcome. This leads to 3 interesting areas of study, the voting paradox, why would the rational individual bother to spend time and resources to get well informed, go to the polls on the Election Day and maybe even wait in a queue? Why would a rational voter vote? And if they vote why do they care about who they vote for? These questions are brought forth in order to light up the reasons why it happens. We hypothesize that economic factors play a role in this decision to vote. If the individuals vote plays a direct role in changing an economic policy that directly affects the voter, the voter is more likely to vote. Voter turnout can also be affected by the candidates or who is running in the particular election. Depending on who is involved, this can be a big motivator to vote.
We expect that the nature of the party system will have considerable influence on the aggregate level of voter turnout. Specifically, the number of parties and the degree of competition among those parties in each election should affect voters’ decisions of whether to show up at the polls. Parties and party members do playa bigger role than many voters suspect. In some cases studies have found that the individuals themselves have played bigger roles than the issues they talk about or the issues of the era.
One study hypothesizes that strong bicameralism leads to a less decisive role for the lower house in the legislative process. The reduced saliency of legislative elections at the lower level of parliament thus leads to decreases in the voters perception that their votes can make a difference in policy outcomes. This is a huge problem I feel like. How often do you hear people say they did not vote because they feel as if their vote will not make a difference, it is so common that almost everyone has heard this and or used this excuse before. This right here is another reason why voter turnout is on the decline, just another negative trend and mindset that needs to change. Next theory I would like to discuss is the theory of economic effect on voter perception and turnout.
Theoretically, voters’ unhappiness with high levels of inflation or unemployment may make them more likely to register to vote to show their discontentment at the polls. However, at the aggregate level, the findings of Lewis-Beck and Lockerbie (1989) suggest that whereas the state of the economy does influence the level of turnout, it is not in the terms of individual pocketbook effects. Instead, it seems voters’ collective evaluations of economic performance have a greater impact on voting behavior. Furthermore, going along with economic factors I can not forget about the Sociodemographic explanations. These studies have provided the foundation of research explanations of political participation in nation-specific studies for more than 50 years. The theory is here that based on survey data, we can expect younger voters to be less likely to vote due to lack of interest and little “social connectedness”. At the other extreme, it is reasonable to expect that very old age may inhibit voting as elderly citizens lose some of their cognitive capacities or are hampered by illness. Thus, we include a measure of the proportion of the electorate between 30 and 65 years of age in current analysis.
According to a socio economic study on voter turnout three main factors came forward, population size, population stability, and economic development. In the United States however more so in the United States closeness of elections plays a big role in voter turnout, the decision to vote is influenced by the probability that an individual vote will have an impact on the election result. Next is perception of the political issues at stake, the degree to which different election outcomes might lead to a different direction in the policies of the government on important issues will affect turnout. These last two factors are the most common situations in the united states today, many citizens believe that their vote will not make a difference in the outcome of the election so choose not to vote, also as evident in this past election high charged political issues at hand will also affect voter turnout. Now this information can be misleading one would hypothesize that countries with higher economic development will experience higher turnout rates, however this is not the case according to a study economic development does not play a role in voter turnout as proved by the United States as we sit very low in turnout rate compared to other democratizes around the world. In concluding this study we take away a lot of important factors that affect voter turnout.
The main theory is that voter turnout is affected by multiple areas. Fields such as age, economic background, institutional influence and socioeconomic factors. For the future, I believe it is an important finding that a growing proportion of the population between 30 and 69 years of age is associated with the increasing levels of voter turnout. Voting-age populations are becoming increasingly older across our set of industrial democracies with improvements in the standard of living and health care.
As we have stated, the number of institutional changes within this set of nations over time is relatively small, whereas changes in turnout have registered in the double digits. Although we agree with past research that institutions do affect turnout differences between static national cross-sections, our study has shown that institutions are less useful in explaining turnout variation within nations over time.Finally for my final section I would like to discuss methods I would use to conduct this study. If I were to conduct this study I think the best way to do so would be by a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. I would choose to use survey research as well as focus groups in order to study these behaviors on voting or not voting and why they happen. By using survey research I would be able to uncover whether or not people are actually inclined to vote based on integrity or based on peer pressure By using the two different types of research it also will allow for the study to be more diverse and look at different angles of voter turnout which will result in having a better understanding of this phenomenon. For my sample I would choose to use a convenience sample.
The age I want to study would be 21 to 70 year olds. I would reach out to the local communities as well as the local universities and use the students who were willing to participate in the study. Based on the number of citizens within each district.For my study it will be important to base a 10-15 question survey on more than simply if a citizen voted in the past election or how often they vote in elections The survey would be completely anonymous and would ask questions about whether they have voted before, followed up with questions about gender, demographic, country of origin or region of the country they live in. For the focus groups I would split the participants up in groups of 6-8 based on age and gender. I would focus on questions about why they may or may not be inclined to vote in elections .
I would then combine the data I collected and use it in order to answer my research question. In conclusion, voter turnout is a very important aspect of the democratic system. It is also very important to understand that many factors play a role in determining voter turnout. This study analyzed the voter turnout among different demographics, more specifically among It questions how differences in race and background play a pivotal role in voter turnout and who is more likely to vote for who in elections In this paper I covered several areas of research. a review of the existing literature, my theory and hypothesis on voter turnout, and research design methods I would use to conduct this study. In my research I found that several different areas affect voter turnout and why it is declining in certain countries.
Whether it be population size, population stability, or economic development, different populations have different ways in determining voter turnout. Voter turnout has been declining across the globe since the beginning of 1990s. I hope that the issues brought forth in this research essay can bring forth solutions going forward in the future to find out how to solve the problem of declining voter turnout and eventually raise voter turnout to help the process of the democratic societies.ReferencesALAN GERBER-DONALD GREEN-CHRISTOPHER LARIMER – https://www.
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