U.S. Politics_ Voter Participation Research Paper Starter - eNotes

U.S. Politics_ Voter Participation Research Paper Starter - eNotes

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
rows Navigate Study Guide U.S. Politics: Voter Participation This paper takes an in­depth look at how voter participation has evolved in the modern United States and how it is gauged by political observers and sociologists alike. Such information not only paints a picture of how an election transpires but also provides a glimpse of the profile of the American voter. Keywords Compulsory Voting; Demographic; Donkey Votes; Mobilization; Negative Advertising; Voter Turnout Sociology of Politics Overview The well­known conservative columnist George F. Will once offered his thoughts on the impact voters have on a democratic government. "Voters," he said, "don't decide issues. They decide who will decide issues" ("George F. Will," 1996). His words echo the words of the United States’ founders, who in the Declaration of Independence wrote of the critical importance of voter participation: "We hold these truths to be self­evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" (Hancock, 2008). Jefferson and Will both speak with a sense of respect and humility for the power of the electorate. When the United States achieved its independence, the founding fathers gave legislators and the president great authority to maintain and operate the everyday workings of the government. However, while the power to write laws and administer the multitude of tasks inherent in such a complex political system falls to elected officials, the fact that each of these officials must look to the electorate for an endorsement at the end of each term is indicative of the awesome power of the vote.
Image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
However, what is considered one of the United States of America's greatest political assets can also be an enormous flaw. If voters fail to participate in a system that relies on their polling input, the system is at risk for negative change such as increased corruption or irrelevant policymaking. Social scientists, taking this fact into consideration, tend to look at voter participation rates with great interest, seeking to uncover the dynamics behind voter behavior. Politicians also look at voter participation rates with perhaps even more concern; data concerning who travels to polling sites and in what numbers helps to gauge how an election will proceed. This paper takes an in­depth look at how voter participation has evolved in the modern United States and how it is gauged by political observers and sociologists alike. Such information not only paints a picture of how an election transpires but also provides a glimpse of the profile of the American voter.
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern