The numbers of voter turnout in the different elections conducted in the U.S. elections differ widely. While elections have a record-high number of voter turnouts, others receive low numbers. In the 2016 presidential general elections, 100% voter turnout was recorded, and 53% of the registered voters turned out for the 2018 midterm general, while the 2019 November general also recorded 100% voter turnout (Sedgwick County, 2020). The primary elections compare in that the percentage of voter turnout in city elections is lower than those recorded in the county and presidential elections.
The difference in voter turnout rates has a significant effect on the above elections. One of the effects that the difference in voter turnouts has on the above elections is the under-representation and over-representation of some groups of people. When a given group of individuals fail to participate in the different polls effectively, they are likely to be under-represented because they did not vote for their preferred candidate. The difference also affects the election results in that the obtained results will not represent the people’s voices.
Low voter turnout rates in America widely affect the election results. Therefore, the government needs to develop policies that will facilitate an increase in the number of voters. Countries like Belgium, Australia, and Peru have implemented strict policies that penalize individuals who fail to vote. This policy has helped in ensuring that a large number of people turn up to vote.
It is appropriate that city election should be moved to presidential years to improve the rates of voter turnouts. For many years, presidential elections have been recording higher voter turnout rates compared to the city elections. City elections often record low voter turnout rates because they are not taken seriously by a majority of the residents. Many U.S. citizens value presidential elections and thus make an effort to vote for their preferred candidate, while many boycott the city elections, which are just as important.
Therefore, there will be more voter turnouts when the city elections are merged with the presidential elections. This will be possible because as the people vote for the president, they vote for the city council members. This strategy is likely to increase voting rates in the city election because many people turn up for even-year polls, which are motivated by important state and federal contests. On the other hand, county elections should remain to be presidential and midterm years for the sake of maintaining a high percentage of voter turnouts.
The mandatory voting policy should be adopted in the U.S., as it will help in increasing the number of voters. When penalties are introduced, many people will be forced to go and vote because of the fear of being penalized. On the other hand, this will make citizens more sensitive to the entire electoral process, hence enhancing transparency. By doing this, those in political positions will also ensure diligence in their service delivery due to increased pressure from citizens.
As much as voting is a right of every American citizen, many fail to turn up for the different levels of elections. This results in election outcomes that do not represent the voices of the people. Ideally, the best way to protect this right is by making it a mandatory civic duty to handle voting more as civic responsibility than a request will encourage higher voter turnouts.
Sedgwick County. (2020). Election Results: Sedgwick County, Kansas. Web.