Thursday, July 24, 2014

If people don't vote, democracy doesn't work!

Source: USA Today: On Politics
This year there was a record low turnout in primary elections. In the 1960s the turnout was only in the low 30 percentages, but now it is less than half of that.
Percentage of Eligible Voters that Voted in Their Statewide Primary
The Washington Post reported:
Overall, voter turnout among the 25 states that have held primaries is down 18 percent from the 2010 election, according a study by the Center for the Study of the American Electorate. There were almost 123 million age-eligible voters in these primary states, but only about 18 million of them voted.
The graph (which is interactive if you click through to the WP original) shows that many of the state primaries had fewer that 13 percent turnout of eligible voters.

It seems likely that it is the more ideologically motivated people who actually vote. So these people will be more likely to "primary" legislators who have sought compromise in order to pass useful legislation, and will be more likely to reelect legislators who block legislation rather than compromise. That fact influences the decisions of legislators leading to the gridlock that we have suffered from.

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