The nation votes today, or to be more specific, 4 out of 10 people who are eligible to vote will – here’s why the rest won’t
Democracy is a beautiful thought, but is not exactly happening as it should as not all people choose to participate in it. By taking a look back at the history of midterm elections, we get one thing clear: there’s a majority of people who are eligible to vote, but won’t exercise their right.
In the last midterm election (2014) only 36% of the eligible population actually voted. This is the lowest percentage in more than 70 years.
However, what are the reasons why people don’t exercise their democratic right to express their choice through voting?
Here’s what Trump said in Missouri during the weekend: “These are the midterms. Nobody thought of the midterms as being that big a deal for years. For years. Nobody thought of the midterms. You know, you hear midterms, it’s like let’s go to sleep, right?”
Unfortunately, this happens to be true. While the presidential race is definitely interesting for most people, midterms are not even close. Voters tend to be uninterested when it comes to the idea of waiting in a line to vote for candidates that they might not even know.
The biggest impediment people face is the fact that the United States does not automatically register people to vote when they turn 18. This means that people need to register themselves.
So, when Election Day comes they are left out of the process. There are 17 states where you can register on the same day that you vote. However, this leaves 33 states where this option is not available (and each of these states have very specific and unique rules on how to register).
People are busy
This is perhaps one of the least interesting excuse people offer for not voting. In 2012, 19% of registered voters who didn’t actually exercise their right said that they were busy. The number dropped to 14% in 2016. What changed? One in four non-voters mentioned that they hated the 2 candidates in 2016.
However, could 2018 break this mold? Here’s what Trump said this Sunday:
“There have never been crowds like this, just so you understand, in the history of politics. You’ve never had crowds like this for midterm elections. There’s never been crowds like this.”