Americans Are Too Busy to Vote

Washington Post: “A meager 36 percent of eligible voters cast ballots [in the midterm elections], 5 points lower than in 2010 and the worst turnout rate since 1942, according to the U.S. Elections Project. So, why did so few Americans vote last year? The Census Bureau asked just that to people who chose not to cast ballots.”

“Being ‘too busy’ tops the list of excuses reasons, followed by general lack of interest, illness, being out of town, simply forgetting, and disliking the candidates or the issues. Few people blamed registration issues, inconvenience, transportation issues or bad weather.”

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  • Still, 2% each for problems with registration, transportation, and convenience to polling places can give a candidate more than an edge in an election.

  • Lorehead

    If that’s the case, expand early voting, and perhaps make election day a public holiday.

  • Chad Hatten

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  • embo66

    Nice snark — changing “excuses” to “reasons” but leaving excuses still visible through the strikethrough.

    Are not enough Americans engaged in political discourse and civic duty? Surely.

    But let’s not forget who tends to vote and WHY. All data show that the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to vote. Is it just because you have “more skin in the game?” Are better educated and more aware? Or is it simply that you have more free time, including the time to vote before or after work on the ONE working weekday of the year in this country we allot for voting?

    Instead of snarkily assuming that people who say they are “too busy” to vote are just making excuses, why not consider that they are telling the factual truth? If you have to work 2 or even 3 jobs just to make ends meet, you probably ARE too busy to go vote on a Tuesday. And not even the wealthiest or most educated among us would always think to register absentee in advance, etc. in order to cast a ballot on a working day where they cannot physically make it to the polls.

    There had been a growing consensus and movement toward making voting easier for Americans in recent years. But ever since Republicans have gained an increasing share of state legislatures and now Congress, they have worked steadily to make voting harder and harder. Shame on them.

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