- Posted November 1, 2011 by
I’m going to explain the expansion of the electorate, causes of bad turnout, my reasoning behind the causes, and what I think we should do about it.
Expansion of the Electorate
It used to be that only land owning, white men could vote and you had to be 21. Now that’s changed. Women and African Americans are allowed to vote and the age to vote has changed to 18. In 1870 African Americans gained the right to vote. Women gained the right to vote on August 26th, 1920. In 1971 the voting age changed from 21 to 18.
Causes of Bad Turnout
There’s a whole list of reasons for bad turnouts. They include: work, long wait in lines, not enough time, family, and weather.
Work: People that work during the day are too tired to go wait in a line to vote. People that work the night shift are usually sleeping during the day.
Long Wait in Lines: There are some people that don't vote because of the long wait in line. In some places people would have to wait in line for a couple of hours vote.
Not Enough Time: Some people are really busy with family, work, etc. Sometimes they just run out of time and can’t get to the place to vote.
Family: If both parents work, it can be difficult to find time to vote. When they get home from work, they have to take care of the kids first and by the time there done with that the voting office could be closed. If one parent stays at home it’s also hard to find time to vote. They have to take care of the kids all day.
Weather: If the weather is really bad, most people aren't going to want to go out in the bad weather, wait in line, and then go back out in the bad weather.
People Don’t Know What To Do: Some of the younger voters probably don't know what to do.
A cause of bad turnout is when times are good people don’t want it to change. For example, in the 1920’s the voter turnout was in the 40% range. This was because people didn't want times to change.
A cause of GOOD voter turnout is when times are tough and people want it to change. When important issues are taking place the voter turnout went up.
What I Think We Should Do About It
Work: I have a couple solutions for this one. The first one is that everyone should get the day off on Election Day. This would allow the people that work to vote. My second solution is that if the first one doesn’t work, Election Day should be split into 2 days. And if that doesn’t work they should keep it open all day. The people who work at night could leave for work earlier and vote.
Long Wait in Lines: My solution for this one is that they have more booths. This would limit the amount of time waiting in line.
Not Enough Time:My solution for this is that people are more aware of their ability to fill out an election ballot and send it in if they know they won’t be able to vote on Election Day.
Family: My solution for this is that everyone should have Election Day off. You could get someone to watch the kids while you vote.
Weather: We can’t predict exactly what the weather will be like on Election Day so I think a solution would be to have online voting. With online voting, we would have a problem with fraud. If we could find a way around the fraud I think it would be a good solution.
People Don’t Know What To Do: A solution to this is to show people how it works.
There are a lot of reasons for bad voter turnout. I think if we used some of the solutions above more people would vote.