Voter Apathy in the Unites States is a serious problem.Voter apathy is a phenomenon where citizens who have the right to vote, refuse or choose not to vote. The United States fought for its freedom from the British empire over a hundred years ago. We wanted the freedom to decide our own laws, lower taxes, and of course the freedom to vote. So, why, after all we have been through would American citizens choose not to vote? The answer is simple, many people won’t vote because they feel that their vote wouldn’t count or be recognized. Some American citizens just don’t care, and some even say that the leaders of the country will do what they want, so what’s the point of voting? Unfortunately, there is some truth to these excuses. Because the United States is a democracy not ever single citizens voice is heard, and this fact seems to affect minorities the most. This could be because minorities feel that they are such a small group, that they have a very small voice in American politics.
Do not misunderstand me when I say that the United States is a democracy. I am a strong patriot and I believe that democracy is the way to go. But for every positive action, thing, or duty, there is always going to be a negative. With all of this negativity about voting and being heard, there are many things our government can do to prevent voter apathy. First, let’s look at the presidential election in 2008. Voter apathy seemed to have very little existence. Groups that were known for being apathetic showed sudden interest in voting and politics, turned on to the possibility that the country needed to be changed. Minorities were also active in the voting pools during 2008. During this time, there was a lot of affirmation that minorities and small groups had a place in American politics, which possibly caused the decrease in voter apathy.
When we do actually vote, we usually leave with a sticker or button that says “I voted.” What if the government, or private organizations were to come up with a more creative prize for voting? Something that could help the community. For example, they could advertise that if they get a certain amount of citizens to vote, the community would get a new addition to the city park. Or they could give out individual prizes or coupons just for voting. Wouldn’t that make you want to go stand in line and vote?
One of the major reasons citizens refuse to vote is because they don’t know enough information about the candidates. During election time, there are many political ads in the media all around us. But most of the times these ads do not portray a candidate correctly or give very little information. The media tends to obscure the information for any candidate and as a result many people do not trust the information they receive. And some people just do not have the resources to research the candidates. To prevent this type of voter apathy, I have just one suggestion, small town gatherings would be perfect for this. You could ask the candidate whatever you would like to know and get your information that way. Of course this isn’t a realistic solution because the candidates are usually incredibly busy.
Overall, the most effective strategy to combat voter apathy is to reassure that everyone’s voice is heard. Too many people feel they are too small to make an impact in the American political system. We need to find an effective way to prove this is not true, that ever person counts, and that we need to hear each and everyone’s voice to make our country better. We can always use tactics like small gifts and gatherings, but the one thing that will have the greatest impact on voter apathy is to prove that each and every American citizen counts.
For more about voter apathy read this article: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/july-dec00/brokensystem.html