Essay on Why Are The Voter Turnout So Low In The

Submitted By KasperRetvig1
Words: 1574
Pages: 7

Earlier this month we had our mid-term elections here in the US where a larger number of Governors were up for election, including right here in North Carolina where the race was between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagen and Republican Thom Tiles. Now many people are focusing on who won the seats in the respective states, however, I find it extremely interesting and a little bit scary when you look at the voter turnout. Across the US, the voter turnout was a little over 36% (Montanaro). Think about that for a minute, this one of the few times where the people of this country can exercise their constitutional right in a democracy to influence who governs their own country, and only a little more than a third of the eligible population actually exercised that right – remarkable! I find it very interesting. Why is it that so few of us exercise our right to vote? Is it because we do not care? Is it because we are just fed up with politicians, or is it something else completely? In the video, Are We in Control of Our Own Decisions? Dan Ariely showed us that maybe it is because we do care but because we do not know what to do; we chose to do nothing, i.e. not vote. Perhaps that is why and I would like to explore that, analyze it and potentially come up with some solutions, as I think the poor voter turnout in some ways actually eliminates the democracy that our ancestors have fought so hard for (Ariely). I believe there is a very clear both local and global impact on all of us, as our governor directly impacts the politics and the allocation of funds in our state – it even directly impact GTCC and potentially this class, as at least part of its funding comes directly from the politicians decisions. Globally our votes or lack thereof controls the majority of the congress, which directly influences the laws that might be passed, by the majority. This has direct impact on the financial decisions of the US, which in turns effects many countries around the world. It also influences our military involvement around the whole, which clearly influences the entire world. Those laws also control financial support and aid to countries around the world, and I could probably go on for a long time. Clearly, this is a very important decision that seems to be ignored by so many Americans. Therefore, if we agree that the low voter participation is a problem for our democracy, what are some of the solutions that we could come up with to combat this problem. In doing so I am taking advantage of some of the techniques, which are presented in chapter 9 in The Art of Thinking, one of those techniques is to Force uncommon ideas (Ruggiero. P. 162). So one of the common ideas might be that the problem is new and probably related to modern political ads, new media or people being busy or preoccupied. However, is it really such a new problem? Well when you look at the voter participation, it is clear that this year’s participating in the mid-term was very low. In fact, 36.4% is the lowest participation in 70 years and clearly is lower than recent year’s mid-terms. However, the fact is that it is not much lower, actually, the voter participation in the mid-term has been hovering around 40% since 1940. Whereas the voter participation in the presidential elections have been around 55% in the same period, so even though the current voter participation is very low, it seems to be a problem that has existed in a long time. Therefore, even though they might have an influence, we will probably have to look elsewhere than what is related to our current times (such as ads, media consumptions, general busyness etc.) for a potential area of solution. Since the problem is not related to something strictly connected to any one time in history, but rather transcends different eras, there must be something else that is keeping people from voting. If we use the analogy of the organ donor sign ups in the Ted Talk by Dr. Dan Ariely, then we could suggest that the reason for