Why Don't People Vote

According to a recent survey conducted by the California Voter Foundation (CVF), almost two-thirds of Americans do not vote (Longley, 2012). The study found that only 35 percent of eligible citizens are registered voters. In addition, many of the registered voters are infrequent/periodic participants in the elections. Most of them only vote in presidential elections and fail to participate in mid-term elections or county elections. According to the survey, one of the reasons why people do not vote is because voting is not their priority (Longley, 2012). It appears that people pay attention to other things concerning their lives but not voting. According to Plutzer, a political scientist at Penn State, young people’s priorities include relocating to college, finding a new job, or maturing their love, but not registering as voters or voting.

People also do not vote because they are too busy with their lives. This is more so among the mature adults. In the survey by CVF, 28 percent of the periodic voters (mature adults) said that they do not afford to vote in all elections because they do not find time to do so. Therefore, they participate in one or two elections whenever they spare some little time. Similarly, 23 percent of the unregistered voters said that they fail to register as voters because they do not have time to do it. They cited that they are always busy with their daily chores (Longley, 2012).

In addition, a large number of Americans do not vote because they lack knowledge about the voting task. In the CVF survey, it was found that many people do not know the location of polling stations while others do not even know who their representatives in the legislature are (Longley, 2012).  

The results of CVF study provide evidence that something need to be done to increase the number of voters. One of the ways of increasing the number of voters is to introduce early voting and voting by absentee ballot (Longley, 2012). These have timesaving advantages, thus advantageous to busy people. Voter education can also be used to increase the number of voters. People should be educated on the importance of voting and made to understand that voting is their civic duty.

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