ESSAY - Why is voting such a critical form of political...

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Why is voting such a critical form of political participation in a democratic republic? Voting is a critical and highly influential form of political participation in a democratic republic, because this form allows us as citizens and sovereigns to engage in the law the land. By this power, they are allowed to exercise their right to select and support candidates and incumbents, or in some unfortunate cases, the lesser of the two evils. Political participation refers to a wide range of activities including lobbying, public relations, litigation, protest, and voting, but the latter is by far, the most important. By satisfying your civic duty by shaping the community in what ways you think are best simply with the entry of a ballot, your voice is being heard through proper representation. For citizens, voting should be deemed as a right as much as a responsibility. While some countries prohibit or unfairly conduct the act of voting, it is our privilege to vote. One has the power to change what they dislike about government, so why would he or she pass up an advantageous opportunity to do just that? Discuss various reasons why many Americans don’t vote. It amazes me how many Americans take for granted this right bestowed upon them and do not execute their civic responsibility. The U.S. has one of the lowest voter turnout rates of all the Western democracies. During both the 1996 and 2000 Presidential elections, only approximately half of qualified voters casted their ballots. The first explanation for participation is socioeconomic status. That is to say individuals with higher levels of education and income are more likely to participate when compared to those with lower levels of education and income. Another factor for voter turnout is race. Caucasians generally vote at a higher percentage than their minority counterparts. It should be noted that when income and education are the same for all races, the marginal percentages disappear. Traditionally, men voted more than women, but that trend has reversed over the past twenty years. It comes to no surprise when older citizens are more likely to vote than younger citizens. Citizens encounter certain obstacles when facing participation by the right of voting. Such hurdles may include registration and residency requirements, elections being
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2012 for the course ECO 304K taught by Professor Hickenbottom during the Spring '10 term at University of Texas.

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ESSAY - Why is voting such a critical form of political...

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