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Why is voter turnout usually so low?

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βˆ™ 2011-06-30 05:53:22

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While it is true that people are generally apathetic about politics, that really varies. Certain elections seem to motivate the voters and get them to turn out at the polls. For example, in the 2008 election there was an increase in the number of young people and ethnic minorities; but in the 2010 midterm elections, these groups did not turn out in large numbers. This fluctuation has happened many times in history. Often a candidate is perceived as an agent of change (Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama are two examples of this perception) and people turn out because they believe this candidate will change the country's direction for the better.

But all too often, there is no one central issue or one exciting candidate who brings out large numbers of voters. As a result, the average person feels disconnected from the political process. Research also has shown that many people believe politicians are corrupt and dishonest, and there is no difference between them. While this is not always true, the belief that things are not going to change contributes to voter apathy, and keeps voter turnout low.

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