Nearly 40 percent of Americans won’t vote for President in the US election, according to MSNBC. This number is considerably lower than other Western democracies.
Out of the 169 countries that tracker voter data, the United States ranks 120th. The Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance states that this effectively puts the country between Dominican Republic and Benin.
The reasons why people won’t vote this year range from inconvenience to cynicism about the election process. Many individuals also stated that the people way conduct themselves during elections contributed greatly to their decision not to visit the polls.
The Washington Post estimates that upwards of 50 million people will skip this year’s Presidential election. This number is a combination of folks who are not registered to vote and those who simply decided not to cast their vote. This number is up from 45 million in 2008.
Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University, believes that a lot of voter apathy has to do with fatigue.
“Part of the issue is we have too much democracy,” he explained. “We’re just voting a lot in the U.S.” He added that Americans have the opportunity to vote at least once a year. This in turn makes people feel as though the process is nothing more than a hassle and an inconvenience.
Lyle Scruggs, a political scientist at the University of Connecticut, explained that quite a few Americans feel their votes don’t count in the grand scheme of things. Many have taken issue with the Electoral College, which finds the presidential candidates focusing on swing states while ignoring countless others.
“If we had a popular-vote election of the president, where which state you lived in didn’t matter, you would likely see many more national campaigns trying to mobilize a much more national constituency,” Scruggs explained.
Will you cast your vote in the US election? Do you think there should be consequences for those who decide not to visit the polls?