The Importance Of Lowering The Voting Age

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The Importance Of Lowering The Voting Age

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Why the Voting Age Should Be Lower Than 18 - NowThis

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Nik Aminudin said his team is implementing a virtual exposure programme on Undi 18 to teenagers with the target being post-school students who were at polytechnics and community colleges because they were 18 years old and above. Its two main objectives are to increase the knowledge and skills of EC officers and staff as well as to raise awareness on the importance of participation in elections among the population, especially students and registered voters. He said the programme was attended by 1, secondary school students from schools nationwide and among the contents of the programme were pop quizzes themed on nationhood and general knowledge.

Participants will be given a certificate of participation at the national level and the certificate is recognised by the Education Ministry as a co-curricular activity, he added. Elections Academy using TikTok, Facebook to channel latest voting-related matters. A study in the American Political Science Review found that the parents to newly enfranchised voters "become 2. A PlosOne study found that a "partisan who is married to a co-partisan is more likely to vote.

This phenomenon is especially pronounced for partisans in closed primaries, elections in which non-partisan registered spouses are ineligible to participate. According to a study, get-out-the-vote groups in the United States who emphasize ballot secrecy along with reminders to vote increase turnout by about 1 percentage point among recently registered nonvoters. Voter turnout varies considerably between nations.

Confusingly, some of the factors that cause internal differences do not seem to apply on a global level. For instance, nations with better-educated populaces do not have higher turnouts. There are two main commonly cited causes of these international differences: culture and institutions. However, there is much debate over the relative impact of the various factors. Wealth and literacy have some effect on turnout, but are not reliable measures.

Countries such as Angola and Ethiopia have long had high turnouts, but so have the wealthy states of Europe. The United Nations Human Development Index shows some correlation between higher standards of living and higher turnout. The age of a democracy is also an important factor. Elections require considerable involvement by the population, and it takes some time to develop the cultural habit of voting, and the associated understanding of and confidence in the electoral process.

This factor may explain the lower turnouts in the newer democracies of Eastern Europe and Latin America. Much of the impetus to vote comes from a sense of civic duty, which takes time and certain social conditions that can take decades to develop:. Demographics also have an effect. Older people tend to vote more than youths, so societies where the average age is somewhat higher, such as Europe; have higher turnouts than somewhat younger countries such as the United States. Populations that are more mobile and those that have lower marriage rates tend to have lower turnout. In countries that are highly multicultural and multilingual, it can be difficult for national election campaigns to engage all sectors of the population. The nature of elections also varies between nations.

In the United States, negative campaigning and character attacks are more common than elsewhere, potentially suppressing turnouts. The focus placed on get out the vote efforts and mass-marketing can have important effects on turnout. Partisanship is an important impetus to turnout, with the highly partisan more likely to vote. Turnout tends to be higher in nations where political allegiance is closely linked to class, ethnic, linguistic, or religious loyalties. Nations with a party specifically geared towards the working class will tend to have higher turnouts among that class than in countries where voters have only big tent parties, which try to appeal to all the voters, to choose from.

Barack Obama utilized Facebook to his benefit during his first run for presidency and truly jumpstarted the use of social media in political campaigns. We recently saw the utilization of social media and perhaps the negative impacts social media has on campaigns in the recent election. Institutional factors have a significant impact on voter turnout. Rules and laws are also generally easier to change than attitudes, so much of the work done on how to improve voter turnout looks at these factors. Making voting compulsory has a direct and dramatic effect on turnout. Simply making it easier for candidates to stand through easier nomination rules is believed to increase voting.

Conversely, adding barriers, such as a separate registration process, can suppress turnout. The salience of an election, the effect that a vote will have on policy, and its proportionality, how closely the result reflects the will of the people, are two structural factors that also likely have important effects on turnout. The modalities of how electoral registration is conducted can also affect turnout.

For example, until "rolling registration" was introduced in the United Kingdom, there was no possibility of the electoral register being updated during its currency, or even amending genuine mistakes after a certain cutoff date. The register was compiled in October, would come into force the next February, and would remain valid until the next January. The electoral register would become progressively more out of date during its period of validity, as electors moved or died people studying or working away from home also often had difficulty voting. This meant that elections taking place later in the year tended to have lower turnouts than those earlier in the year.

The introduction of rolling registration where the register is updated monthly has reduced but not entirely eliminated this issue since the process of amending the register is not automatic, and some individuals do not join the electoral register until the annual October compilation process. Another country with a highly efficient registration process is France. At the age of eighteen, all youth are automatically registered. Only new residents and citizens who have moved are responsible for bearing the costs and inconvenience of updating their registration.

Similarly, in Nordic countries , all citizens and residents are included in the official population register, which is simultaneously a tax list, voter registration, and membership in the universal health system. Residents are required by law to report any change of address to the register within a short time after moving. This is also the system in Germany but without the membership in the health system. The elimination of registration as a separate bureaucratic step can result in higher voter turnout.

This is reflected in statistics from the United States Bureau of Census, — States that have same-day registration, or no registration requirements, have a higher voter turnout than the national average. At the time of that report, the four states that allowed election day registration were Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, and Oregon. Since then, Idaho and Maine have changed to allow same-day registration. North Dakota is the only state that requires no registration. A study in The Journal of Politics found that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act "increased black voter registration by 14—19 percentage points, white registration by 10—13 percentage points, and overall voter turnout by 10—19 percentage points.

Additional results for Democratic vote share suggest that some of this overall increase in turnout may have come from reactionary whites. A strong factor affecting voter turnout is whether voting is compulsory, as countries with compulsory voting tend to have higher voter turnout rates. This was an increase from the record low of Penalties for failing to vote are not always strictly enforced, and sanctions for non-voters are often mild. Franklin argues that salience, the perceived effect that an individual vote will have on how the country is run, has a significant effect on turnout. He presents Switzerland as an example of a nation with low salience.

The nation's administration is highly decentralized, so that the federal government has limited powers. The government invariably consists of a coalition of parties, and the power wielded by a party is far more closely linked to its position relative to the coalition than to the number of votes it received. Important decisions are placed before the population in a referendum. Individual votes for the federal legislature are thus unlikely to have a significant effect on the nation, which probably explains the low average turnouts in that country. By contrast Malta , with one of the world's highest voter turnouts, has a single legislature that holds a near monopoly on political power. Malta has a two-party system in which a small swing in votes can completely alter the executive.

Voters' perceptions of fairness also have an important effect on salience. If voters feel that the result of an election is more likely to be determined by fraud and corruption than by the will of the people, fewer people will vote. Another institutional factor that may have an important effect is proportionality, i. Under a pure proportional representation system the composition of the legislature is fully proportional to the votes of the populace and a voter can be sure that of being represented in parliament, even if only from the opposition benches.

However many nations that use a form of proportional representation in elections depart from pure proportionality by stipulating that smaller parties are not supported by a certain threshold percentage of votes cast will be excluded from parliament. By contrast, a voting system based on single seat constituencies such as the plurality system used in North America, the UK and India will tend to result in many non-competitive electoral districts, in which the outcome is seen by voters as a foregone conclusion. Proportional systems tend to produce multiparty coalition governments.

This may reduce salience, if voters perceive that they have little influence over which parties are included in the coalition. Although there is no guarantee, this is lessened as the parties usually state with whom they will favour a coalition after the elections. Political scientists are divided on whether proportional representation increases voter turnout, though in countries with proportional representation voter turnout is higher.

However, these tend to be complex electoral systems, and in some cases complexity appears to suppress voter turnout. Ease of voting is a factor in rates of turnout. In the United States and most Latin American nations, voters must go through separate voter registration procedures before they are allowed to vote. This two-step process quite clearly decreases turnout. US states with no, or easier, registration requirements have larger turnouts.

Some countries have considered Internet voting as a possible solution. In other countries, like France , voting is held on the weekend, when most voters are away from work. Therefore, the need for time off from work as a factor in voter turnout is greatly reduced. Many countries have looked into Internet voting as a possible solution for low voter turnout. Some countries like France and Switzerland use Internet voting. However, it has only been used sparingly by a few states in the US. This is due largely to security concerns. For example, the US Department of Defense looked into making Internet voting secure, but cancelled the effort. A study found that the opening and closing hours of polling places determines the age demographics of turnout: turnout among younger voters is higher the longer polling places are open and turnout among older voters decreases the later polling places open.

Voter fatigue can lower turnout. If there are many elections in close succession, voter turnout will decrease as the public tires of participating. In low-turnout Switzerland, the average voter is invited to go to the polls an average of seven times a year; the United States has frequent elections, with two votes per year on average, if one includes all levels of government as well as primaries.

A study found that "young people who pledge to vote are more likely to turn out than those who are contacted using standard Get-Out-the-Vote materials. Overall, pledging to vote increased voter turnout by 3. Differing methods of measuring voter turnout can contribute to reported differences between nations. There are difficulties in measuring both the numerator, the number of voters who cast votes, and the denominator, the number of voters eligible to vote. For the numerator, it is often assumed that the number of voters who went to the polls should equal the number of ballots cast, which in turn should equal the number of votes counted, but this is not the case.

Not all voters who arrive at the polls necessarily cast ballots. Some may be turned away because they are ineligible, some may be turned away improperly, and some who sign the voting register may not actually cast ballots. Furthermore, voters who do cast ballots may abstain, deliberately voting for nobody, or they may spoil their votes, either accidentally or as an act of protest. In the United Kingdom, the Electoral Commission distinguishes between "valid vote turnout", which excludes spoilt ballots, and "ballot box turnout", which does not. In the United States, it has been common to report turnout as the sum of votes for the top race on the ballot, because not all jurisdictions report the actual number of people who went to the polls nor the number of undervotes or overvotes.

For the denominator, it is often assumed that the number of eligible voters was well defined, but again, this is not the case. Some political scientists have argued that these measures do not properly account for the large number of Legal Permanent Residents , [] illegal aliens , disenfranchised felons and persons who are considered 'mentally incompetent' in the United States, and that American voter turnout is higher than is normally reported.

McDonald constructed an estimation of the turnout against the ' voting eligible population ' VEP , instead of the 'voting age population' VAP. For the American presidential elections of , turnout could then be expressed as In New Zealand, registration is supposed to be universal. This does not eliminate uncertainty in the eligible population because this system has been shown to be unreliable, with a large number of eligible but unregistered citizens creating inflated turnout figures. A second problem with turnout measurements lies in the way turnout is computed. One can count the number of voters, or one can count the number of ballots, and in a vote-for-one race, one can sum the number of votes for each candidate.

These are not necessarily identical because not all voters who sign in at the polls necessarily cast ballots, although they ought to, and because voters may cast spoiled ballots. Since around , there has a gradual decrease in voter turnout globally. Since the s, voter turnout has been declining in the established democracies. It has been a matter of concern and controversy among political scientists for several decades. During this same period, other forms of political participation have also declined, such as voluntary participation in political parties and the attendance of observers at town meetings.

The decline in voting has also accompanied a general decline in civic participation, such as church attendance, membership in professional, fraternal, and student societies, youth groups, and parent-teacher associations. People have become far more likely to participate in boycotts , demonstrations , and to donate to political campaigns. Before the late 20th century, suffrage — the right to vote — was so limited in most nations that turnout figures have little relevance to today. One exception was the United States, which had near universal white male suffrage by The U. Turnout declined from the s until the s, then increased again until , and then entered another period of decline into the s before increasing again.

Globally, voter turnout has decreased by about five percentage points over the last four decades. Many causes have been proposed for this decline; a combination of factors is most likely. When asked why they do not vote, many people report that they have too little free time. However, over the last several decades, studies have consistently shown that the amount of leisure time has not decreased. According to a study by the Heritage Foundation, Americans report on average an additional 7.

Geographic mobility has increased over the last few decades. There are often barriers to voting in a district where one is a recent arrival, and a new arrival is likely to know little about the local candidate and local issues. Francis Fukuyama has blamed the welfare state , arguing that the decrease in turnout has come shortly after the government became far more involved in people's lives. He argues in Trust: The Social Virtues and The Creation of Prosperity that the social capital essential to high voter turnouts is easily dissipated by government actions.

However, on an international level those states with the most extensive social programs tend to be the ones with the highest turnouts. Richard Sclove argues in Democracy and Technology that technological developments in society such as "automobilization," suburban living, and "an explosive proliferation of home entertainment devices" have contributed to a loss of community, which in turn has weakened participation in civic life. Trust in government and in politicians has decreased in many nations. However, the first signs of decreasing voter turnout occurred in the early s, which was before the major upheavals of the late s and s.

Robert D. Putnam argues that the collapse in civil engagement is due to the introduction of television. In the s and s, television quickly became the main leisure activity in developed nations. It replaced earlier more social entertainments such as bridge clubs, church groups, and bowling leagues. Putnam argues that as people retreated within their homes and general social participation declined, so too did voting. It has been argued that democratic consolidation the stabilization of new democracies contributes to the decline in voter turnout. A study challenges this however. Rosenstone and Hansen contend that the decline in turnout in the United States is the product of a change in campaigning strategies as a result of the so-called new media.

Before the introduction of television, almost all of a party's resources would be directed towards intensive local campaigning and get out the vote initiatives. In the modern era, these resources have been redirected to expensive media campaigns in which the potential voter is a passive participant. The evidence for this is mixed: elections involving highly unpopular incumbents generally have high turnout; some studies have found that mudslinging and character attacks reduce turnout, but that substantive attacks on a party's record can increase it. Part of the reason for voter decline in the recent election is likely because of restrictive voting laws around the country. Brennan Center for Justice reported that in fourteen states passed restrictive voting laws.

Barbour and Wright also believe that one of the causes is restrictive voting laws but they call this system of laws regulating the electorate. In the Supreme Court made a crucial decision regarding Indiana's voter ID law in saying that it does not violate the constitution. Since then almost half of the states have passed restrictive voting laws. These laws contribute to Barbour and Wrights idea of the rational nonvoter. This is someone who does not vote because the benefits of them not voting outweighs the cost to vote.

In the United States programs such as MTV's " Rock the Vote " and the " Vote or Die " initiatives have been introduced to increase turnouts of those between the ages of 18 and A number of governments and electoral commissions have also launched efforts to boost turnout. For instance Elections Canada has launched mass media campaigns to encourage voting prior to elections, as have bodies in Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Google extensively studied the causes behind low voter turnout in the United States, and argues that one of the key reasons behind lack of voter participation is the so-called "interested bystander". This category is not limited to any socioeconomic or demographic groups.

Google theorizes that individuals in this category suffer from voter apathy , as they are interested in political life but believe that their individual effect would be negligible. Much of the above analysis is predicated on voter turnout as measured as a percentage of the voting-age population. In a article in the American Political Science Review , Michael McDonald and Samuel Popkin argued, that at least in the United States, voter turnout since has not actually declined when calculated for those eligible to vote, what they term the voting-eligible population.

Furthermore, they argue that an examination of the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey shows that turnout is low but not declining among the youth, when the high youth turnout of the first year to year-olds were eligible to vote in most states is removed from the trendline. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Percentage of a country's eligible voters who actually vote within elections. Electoral systems. Plurality and majoritarian systems First-past-the-post voting Two-round system Instant-runoff voting Plurality-at-large voting General ticket Usual judgment Proportional and semi-proportional systems Single non-transferable vote Cumulative voting Binomial system Party-list Single transferable voting Mixed systems Majority bonus system Mixed-member systems Parallel voting.

Voting strategies. Voting patterns and effects. Electoral fraud. Main article: Decision theory. Main article: Abstention. Main article: Compulsory voting. Main article: Voter fatigue. Change in voter turnout over time for five selected countries [ citation needed ]. The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this section , discuss the issue on the talk page , or create a new section, as appropriate. December Learn how and when to remove this template message.

World Politics. ISSN S2CID Give them the day off". Washington Post. Retrieved The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on European Journal of Political Research. The formula itself was developed by William H. American Political Science Review. Political Science Research and Methods : 1— Archived from the original PDF on 29 July Retrieved 26 July Rationality and Society. An analysis of Indian elections , Appendix D. Democracy and Diversity. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN It starts in childhood". The Washington Post. August Prevention Science.

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