How Far Do We Go To Increase Voter turnout?

Essay by imaginati0nUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2005

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The only thing consistent about voter turnout in America has been its decline. Many voice the concerns of our lack of participation when it comes to voting. However, their efforts seem somewhat ineffective since there are still many that hardly respond to politics. Out of twenty-one democracies, the United States placed twentieth in voter turnout for presidential elections. Only Switzerland has lower voter turnout than in the United States.

The truth remains that only about 50 percent of Americans vote in the presidential election; a third of Americans vote in midterm congressional elections. Voter turnout is

low because eligible voters don't take the time to know the candidates, are too busy with their daily lives, think it's pointless to vote, or lack the interest to do so. Participation for smaller elections is by far worse. So what could we do to resolve this nonvoting situation? One suggestion was made my Matt Miller and his idea for turning the election into a lottery.

The advantage to this would be that people will be rewarded for participating. Our country gets its increase in voter turnout while the people get some

extra cash in their pockets. But is it really a win-win situation? What about the disadvantages of turning the election into a lottery? Would the lottery do more harm than


It is true that one of the most effective ways to get people to do anything, is through money. Money has proven to make people do even the craziest things, like go out on reality shows where men dress up as women in order to get their hands on a quarter of a million dollars. Therefore, a simple act like voting would easily give people a reason to

vote in elections. But who in the right mind would offer millions...