Friday, October 7, 2016

Political Participation_Beltran

 Nonvoting in America

  1. What have been the major issues and reasons that have caused voter turnout to lower in the United States over the years?

There are multiple issues and reasons many citizens chose not to vote. One of them is that many individuals find no interest in the long ballot and have no knowledge of all the propositions being made. Many also are faced by institutional barriers and presumptions like costs in voting. Others also feel like they will not be heard by the government.

  1. How have other European countries increased their voter turnout?

European countries have increased their voter turnout by imposing penalties for the people who decide not to vote. Penalties can be in forms of fines or other punishments. They also allow automatic registration where people who affiliate with government agencies are registered to vote unless the citizen chooses to decline.

  1. Which type of elections has a larger voter turnout compared to others?

Presidential elections tend to have a higher voter turnout than the legislative and this might root from being more interested in who runs an individual’s country than those who run their state. National elections have much larger voter turnout compared to state elections since state require more votes for specific things a citizen is unaware or disdain about. Lastly general elections are also much more popular than primary elections. Primary elections require voters to choose who they want to represent their political party. Many have a hard time choosing and would rather just choose between candidates from different parties, which happens in the general election.

Rise of American Electorate

  1. What were the large-scale differences the Fifteenth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-sixth Amendments have done to improve diversity in voting?

The Fifteenth Amendment allowed African-American males to vote. Much of the population, at the time, was impacted greatly by those of this race. They made much of the workforce and add a demographic to the voter turnout. The Nineteenth Amendment gave the right to vote to all women. Females make up half of the population in the United States and allowed the voter turnout to increase greatly in numbers and add the much-needed diversity. Finally, the Twenty-sixth Amendment was made, giving 18 to 21 year-olds the right to vote. Although this did add a much wider range of age, voter turnout did not increase by much.

  1. How is the United States of America divided by the specific political parties?

The United States is divided by two popular political parties; the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Both parties have great influences in certain sections of America. Many states tend to vote for the same party over the years and many campaigns are not held in them. These states that are inconsistent choosing one party are known as swing states and considered battlegrounds. The South is now known to be Republican-oriented but during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, it was classified as Democratic. The West Coast is primarily Democratic for many of the liberal movements taken place in that area. Lastly, the Great Lakes region is a fight between Democratic and Republican.

  1. Which type of demographics affects what party an individual is more likely to vote for?

There are five types of demographics that affect which party a citizen is more likely to vote for. The first one is gender. Surprisingly, men tend to vote Republican while women vote Democratic. The higher class level someone is, the more likely they are to vote Republican; while the lower class majority votes Democratic. Race is also a big factor. Overwhelmingly, African-Americans vote Democratic while white individuals vote Republican. Union involvement and religion also affect the outcome of where a vote goes. If an individual is part of a union and also a Jewish or Catholic, they are likely to vote Democratic. While an individual who is an Evangelical Christian and not part of a union is probably voting Republican.

Who Participates in American Politics

  1. How does race affect voting turnout?

Race affects the voting turnout by only having one race to represent due to misconceptions. The majority of the people who vote are caucasian while many of the large minorities, like Hispanics and blacks, choose not to vote. They fear that voting will cost them money and that they will not be heard anyways. This affects the voting turnout because less of the population is represented, therefore decreasing it as well.

  1. Describe ways someone may participate in politics other than voting.

Someone can participate in politics by running for office. The only requirements are being of age and proof of being a citizen of the United States. Someone may also help with campaigning for a candidate by writing letters and knocking on doors. They may also choose to give money in order to fund a specific candidate of their liking. In addition, they may decide to join a protest or rally expressing the way they feel towards a certain policy. Another way of getting involved is joining an interest group to voice out a believed opinion on the politics surrounding the person’s interest like the National Rifle Association.

  1. Which age group is more likely to vote and which one is not?

     The age group more likely to vote is those 45 to 65 years-old. Many of them grew up around issues that they felt needed to be advocated and saw the changes that laws have made to their nation. The age group that is most unlikely to vote are 18 to 21 year-olds who think that voting is not important or that if they do, it will not change anything. Many are just not interested in the science of politics and the significance of how it affects our everyday lives.

** Why does the United States seem to only allow for two parties to exist?
Why is voting not made a requirement to all those who become citizens?
Why do political parties seem to divide the nation instead of uniting it?

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