Voter Turnout? Essay

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Voter turnout has been declining in the United States throughout history through the potential voters’ personal choice not to vote and ineligibility. According to research a large percentage of individuals are not voting because political parties fail to appeal to the voters and this leads to the voting population losing interest in the campaign, while others postpone registering and by the time they realize their delay the election is upon them.
This downward trend of voter turnout can be traced to the reforms of the Progressive era. Turnout in post-Progressive era America remained low, never reaching the levels attained before the Progressive era reforms. This would be expected, since there is little in the political history of these
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(López, Gratschew, and Adimi, 2002, 61). US turnout rates have dropped from 65 to 55 percent in the 1960s and 1970s (Teixeira, 1987). Political parties’ failure to rouse and excite potential voters and get them to the polls is lowering voter turnout (Greenberg, and Page, 2009). Case in point, turnout in midterm congressional elections are substantially lower than turnout in presidential elections. Since 1960 the mean turnout in presidential elections is proximately 55 percent, while over the same period turnout in midterm elections is approximately 41 percent (Hill, 2006, 94). Mark Franklin and Diana Evans article on voter turnout argue that turnout in congressional midterm elections is lower because they are “second order” elections that choose officials to a level of government that is not directly responsible for governing the nations, “but whose outcomes are

structured entirely by considerations relevant to the outcomes of first order elections, which are directly responsible for the governance of the nation” (Franklin and Evans 2000, 97). Given that these elections are considered less important, fewer voters tend to show up. These midterm elections also receive less publicity while presidential elections receive a great deal of advertising. Yet, with the publicity provided from local and international media in sizable elections such as presidential elections, the large

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