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Low Voter Turnout

October 20, 2000 • Volume 10, Issue 36
Is America's democracy in trouble?
By Mary H. Cooper

Introduction

Voters and a future voter ponder their choices in Fabens, Texas. (Photo Credit: Newsmakers Photos/Joe Raedle)
Voters and a future voter ponder their choices in Fabens, Texas. (Photo Credit: Newsmakers Photos/Joe Raedle)

Despite the high visibility of this year's presidential campaign, fewer than half of alleligible Americans are expected to vote on Nov. 7. Indeed, voter turnout has fallen fromits peak of 63 percent in 1960 to just below half during the last presidential election, in 1996. As a result, the world's leading democracy ranks 140th in voter turnout among democratically elected governments. The largest bloc of non-voters are 18- to 24-year-olds -- members of the so-called Generation Y. Analysts say cynicism about politics, such as concern about the role of money, contributes to voter fatigue, especially among younger Americans. Some experts also blame low turnouts on the decline in civic education in schools and what they see as citizens' “lost sense of community.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Elections
Oct. 29, 2010  Democrats' Future
Apr. 24, 2009  Judicial Elections
May 30, 2008  Changing U.S. ElectorateUpdated
Mar. 12, 2004  Redistricting Disputes
Nov. 02, 2001  Election Reform
Oct. 20, 2000  Low Voter Turnout
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and Elections
Voting and Suffrage
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