The United States electoral system is highly variable, confusing, interesting, and old as America itself. Do such factors as election complexity and the day chosen for them affect voters’ presence? Although voter turnout among the American citizens has low ratings among developed democracies, and many voters are too busy to come, efforts to organize weekend elections were unsuccessful.
The activity of citizens during elections is a topical and discussed issue in developed countries. Speaking about the activity of voters in the USA recently, it is, on average lower than in most democratic countries, where the activity level mainly lies in the range above 60% – 75% (DeSilver, “U.S. trails”). There are also a few leaders in the voting activity rating. For example, in Belgium, voting is considered mandatory by law, and nearly 90% of the population voted (DeSilver, “U.S. trails”). High activity of voters in parliamentary and (or) presidential elections in Sweden, Denmark, Australia, South Korea, Norway, the Netherlands, Iceland, and Israel can be noted (DeSilver, “U.S. trails”). The ability of the government to attract and mobilize the population significantly affects the voting results.
Among the many reasons for the low turnout, there are several main ones. Firstly, there is a declining interest in the political life of the country. Voters observe how candidates make promises and do not fulfill them. On the candidates’ backs, a mountain of issues and scandals, and in fact, the competence of candidates can often be questioned. This is the reason that citizens do not believe that their voice matters and can change things for the better. Secondly, participation in elections in the USA requires such efforts as self-registration. Often people may forget or not have time to register. Besides, some may just be too lazy to do this. Thirdly, a separate reason may be the traditional day on which elections are held – Tuesday.
In most democracies, elections are held on weekends but America is an exception to the rule in this case. Tuesday was set as Election Day for historical reasons that are no longer relevant, but the power of tradition holds elections on that very day (DeSilver, “Weekday elections”). Now, Tuesday is traditionally a working day, which significantly reduces the turnout of working voters. Although some employers may make concessions in the form of a weekend or an extended lunchtime, the majority of the population remains at work because they do not want to lose money. Moving elections on the weekend can attract more voters without distracting them from their day-to-day responsibilities. However, this still does not guarantee a high turnout, as interest in the political life of the country is playing the central role.
Mandatory voting and automatic registration upon reaching adulthood can be considered as methods of attracting voters. However, this principle does not always work and can provoke some resistance. Another proven way of attracting citizens to the elections is their awareness. However, one needs to keep an eye on current trends. The younger generation spends a lot of time in the global network so that government structures can use notifications on social networks and Emails, electronic registration methods, and possibly even online elections. Among the disadvantages of these methods is the unreliability of the systems, the ability of corporations like Google to manipulate public opinion and possible hackers’ attacks. Therefore, their practical implementation requires a significant budget and qualified professionals.
Participation in elections means taking responsibility for one’s own living standards, social environment, and future. However, many factors can influence the decision of a citizen to come to the polling station or not. Thus, the government’s responsibility before the population is to attract attention and convey the importance of the voice of each person in choosing the future path that the country will take.
DeSilver, Drew. “” Pew Research Centre, 2018. Web.
DeSilver, Drew. “” Pew Research Centre. 2018. Web.