Electoral studies of the most recent years show the presence of a significant discrepancy between the results of public opinion polls and the respective election results. Especially large differences in predicting results of the elections are connected with, on the one hand, regional and local levels and, on the other hand, age groups of the voters. The last aspect is of a particular interest for the present paper. In accordance with the statistic data represented in the investigation by Ho (2015), the majority of the 18+ year old voters ignored the election process. This is explained by a wide range of reasons, which will be discussed in the next part of the paper.
The problem of a low turnout during the elections of a particular demographic age group is one of the acutest in the USA. Scholars and analysts made numerous attempts to find out the essential reasons for this issue and tried to figure out the efficient ways of its solving. Therefore, the paper will focus on the voters’ group members who are above 18 years old as well as the reasons and consequences of the low voters’ turnout.
Demographic Groups with the Lowest Voting Rates in the USA
As it has already been indicated, the demographic age group of voters whose age is 18+ generally ignore the elections in the USA. In accordance with the conducted investigations and social polls, it is possible to single out certain reasons as to why this particular group of population tends to avoid the event of elections. These reasons involve the introduction of new electoral procedures. It means that innovations in this field of the social life are not always valid and do not generally provide the voters with the necessary security level. In other words, the youth of the USA has a tendency not to believe innovations in terms of the electoral process due to the fact that brand new methods can be spoiled: for example, the Internet technology of election can show a low level of security from virtual attacks. The second reason for the low voters’ turnout is the fact of alteration of the electoral districts’ boundaries. It means that this introduced option provides an opportunity to vote without deep consideration of the candidatures. This situation happens in cases when people who originated from a particular state can vote even if they currently live in another one. The problem is that when a voter inhabits another region, they cannot properly analyze the candidature. Those voters’ participation in elections leads to the results’ misinterpretation.
The third reason of why the particular demographic group of voters who are above 18 years old ignore elections in the US is the introduction (or cancellation) of electoral threshold and selecting appropriate time of the elections. This shows the unstable tendency in the very process of election and does not provide the voters with the solid ground, figuratively speaking, when choosing a preferred candidature. There are also other issues which prevent voters of this age group from their right to vote: the tendency to selection of staff loyal to the authorities of election commissions; the changes in the funding of political parties; and, finally, stimulation and movement of voters in the districts, and so on.
Thus, the particularity of the demographic group of voters who are more than 18 years old is the desire to see a stability during the elections. Certainly, this group is open to innovations in this aspect of the social life; however, they do not observe the safety and fairness of the results they are expecting when voting.
Direct Analysis of the Demographic Group
Paying attention to the fact that representatives of the demographic group in question are young people who tend to introduce and follow the innovations, they do not believe promises and the results of the election they could have taken part in. The disappointment and lack of safety lead them to a desire of not attending the election. In many cases, however, the percentage of these voters is not the majority of the population in the USA, but still, they represent a considerable share of the possible votes. Hypothetically, if they took part in the voting process, they would impact the results to a substantial extent.
Another particularity of the demographic group in question is the lack of desire to visit the event of elections. People of this age are more focused on other aspects of their lives and tend to follow different behavior samples. Taking into consideration the low social level of the voters, it is possible to assume that they are just not interested in the future, and this serves as a key reason why they are convinced that the election process does not depend on their decision or choice.
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Consequences of the Uneven Voting Rates
The low level of the voters’ turnout during the elections can have various consequences for the USA. First and foremost, according to Erikson and Tedin (2015), the experience shows that the lack of voters during elections can result in the introduction of a different electoral system which will require extra expenses. In addition, the authors have a conviction that a significant change in the rules relating to the procedures of voting and counting of votes as well as the formation of other constituencies will not have a positive feedback. However, it will have to be done in order to make citizens vote. Erikson and Tedin (2015) note that another consequence is the change of the date and time of elections and other electoral legislation adjustment options. This, however, will certainly not have any special or significant influence on the final result of the election.
Another severe consequence of the situation described is the lack of possibilities or even inability to find a compromise between the competing desires and objectives within the country. Separate criteria can be the same or alternatively be incompatible with each other. Therefore, when creating or changing the electoral system, it is crucial to define the priority criteria and only then analyze what the electoral system or combination of systems best fit the task. These criteria comprise of the creation of a truly representative parliament, availability and significance of the elections, the ability to solve social conflicts, the creation of a stable and effective government, accountability of government and MPs, stimulation of the political parties’ development, the support of the parliamentary opposition and other similar aspects (Gerring et al., 2015).
Consequently, it is necessary to analyze the existing options and consequences of the possible voters’ choice. Thus, the problem of modeling the optimal electoral system is the correct assessment, which is based on certain criteria of choices (always taking into account the historical development and political realities of the time), which will help in detecting the precise alternative that will meet the specific needs of the country with the help of a systematic screening.
To sum up, the development of electoral systems is to be considered as an essential aspect, including the political governance. The familiarity with examples of electoral systems in other countries helps in seeing how the electoral system elements function in different configurations. Undoubtedly, every country is unique, but the uniqueness of all people, as a rule, is the interweaving of diverse base, largely socio-political factors. On this basis, simulating a particular electoral system, it is necessary to start with the definition of the selection criteria and issues of priority for the country. The situation depicted in the paper can hypothetically be changed for the better only in case when the legislative bodies provide the voters of the demographic group in question with the trust and safety they seek.