Why Americans Do Not Vote
Americans will be going to the ballot in November this year to elect their next President. This occurs amid the backdrop of a decreasing number of people who become less interested in politics in general and voting in particular. This is not a new trend in American politics, it has been witnessed earlier and the reasons for this trend have continued to be dynamic even as America continues to develop as a nation. This paper discusses the reasons why many American citizens do note vote in whichever kind of election, as they are mandated by the Constitution.
The right to vote was one of the reasons why Civil Right Movement was active in American society since its independence in 1776. Not everyone was allowed to vote and this angered the human rights groups who believed that, “…all men are created equal” and therefore they should be allowed to vote. The demands were granted in 1965 by the passing of the Voting Rights Act of the same year. However, many Americans are now avoiding the voting centers forgetting that voting is not only a civil obligation but also a constitutional mandate.
Statistics indicate that many people who do not vote are the youth who are under 30 years representing 40%, infrequent voters form 29% while frequent voters who may refrain from voting form 14%. From my observation, the level of education and marital status plays a crucial role in the voting pattern. Another factor that influences voting trend is race with whites forming 54% of a nonvoting group. Equally, the amount of wealth owned has also been of great importance with more rich people embracing voting than the poor people. In addition, statistics indicate that the national voting percentage has dropped from 63.1% in 1960 to 56.8% in 2008, with the lowest turnout in presidential election in 1996 that had 49.1% voters. This statistics are for presidential elections only. Local elections normally have lower voter turnout than presidential elections.
The main reason that Americans cite for their discouragement in voting is lack of time to go to vote. Many Americans are too busy with their work on the day of voting. Additionally, many of them also indicate that they have lost interest in voting because, according to them, the rich will always have what they want any way through poll rigging and other dirty tricks that serve their own interests. Similarly, many voters are subjugating their voting rights because of disappointment in the previous candidates. Most Americans believe that a candidate, whether a democrat or republican, is voted because of their well articulated policies and promises.
However, many of those who get into the offices have failed to deliver on their campaign promises and this frustrates the voters. Most candidates who make it to high offices sit over and watch as Americans continue to suffer from the increased taxes, dwindling standards of living, lack of health insurance, among many other social problems that bedevil the American society. Such voters refrain from voting believing that the process cannot help them to transform their lives since the candidate will not deliver on his or her promises.
In conclusion, there is a need for voter’s awareness programs to enable the voters to make good choice during the electoral process especially on the person they are voting in as their President. This will help the undecided voters who really do not know what they want for the American society. I believe that all Americans are obliged to participate in all voting processes as it is their constitutional right and those who abscond to perform their obligation should be prosecuted. Equally, the elected leaders should also be obliged to deliver to their promises.