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PSC 101 Eastern Gateway College Chapter 7 Voter Turnout in US Elections Discussion

Chapter 7 Discussion

What factors determine whether people turn out to vote in U.S. elections? Should states continue to allow ballot initiatives and other forms of direct democracy? Why or why not? Respond to at least 2 other students’ posts.

Relevant Chapter 7 Learning Objectives:

  • Identify factors that motivate registered voters to vote
    • Discuss circumstances that prevent citizens from voting
    • Analyze reasons for low voter turnout in the United States

Identify the different forms of and reasons for direct democracy
Remember to incorporate the course readings to form a foundation for your responses. Be sure to discuss relevant examples. Additionally, you must properly cite the course text (Krutz, 2020, page number). Consult the Discussion Grading Guidelines for additional details.


Chapter 7 Discussion

The factors that determine voter turnout in U.S. elections include reasons of ineligibility, education, income, social status, race, excuses, transportation, and the fact that participation isn’t mandatory. This is the biggest prominent reason for low national turnout is that participation is not mandated. (Krutz, 2020, page number 254). In addition, some of the reasons for ineligibility include being behind bars, not registered to vote, which leads to less of the population not voting.

Voter initiatives on the ballots often encourage higher turnouts because there are single issues involved, thus making it easier to form an opinion on the matter. In addition, the issues are decided through direct democracy, and this also encourages more voters to come out. Therefore, direct initiatives are important as they allow the voters to decide the issues.

Hope everyone has a great week,

Kathy Abrahamson

Second peer below

Factors that affect whether people turn out to vote include the fact that voting is not mandated in this country. (Krutz, 2020, pg254) Another reason claimed to determine low voter turnout is that some citizens “are not allowed to vote”. The textbook claims people are being restricted from voting by requiring identification to be shown at the polling place in order to vote. (Krutz, 2020, pg254) Other reasons stated is that some polling places are only open on Election Day, making it difficult for those going to school or work to reach a polling site during polling hours. (Krutz, 2020, pg255) Some people avoid voting because of apathy, or thinking that their vote won’t make a difference in the larger elections, especially presidential elections that an entire states electoral votes go to one candidate. (Krutz, 2020, pg257) Some people view not voting as a means of social protest, or consider that serving others is more important than voting. (Krutz, 2020, pg257)

Yes, direct democracy should continue because it is a method that gives the people the direct power to vote for a decision on policy questions and issues. (Krutz, 2020, pg256) “Referendum asks citizens to confirm or repeal a decision made by the government.” This allows the people to verify and approve, therefore solidifying, the decisions made by the government. Initiatives are “normally a law or constitutional amendment proposed and passed by the citizens of a state.” These allow the people to actually create and approve laws without the approval of the government while still subject to court review. A recall allows the people to determine if they will be removing a government official from office. (Krutz, 2020, pg257)


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