Why Are They Not Voting

About 43% of eligible voters did not vote in the 2016 presidential election. In the June 2018 California Primary 63% of eligible residents did not vote. The reasons why individuals do not vote vary, as explained in a Pew Research Center study.

In 2016, the top reason was because of dislike of candidates or issues. Other reasons ranged from didn’t feel vote would matter and too busy or schedule conflict to illness or disability and registration problems.

why not voting

In addition, there is also a segment of the population who can not vote. For example, due to felony convictions, 10% of Florida adults are not eligible to vote. There are also those who have been removed from voter rolls. There are currently numerous purges of voter rolls happening all across the country. There will be thousands who show up thinking they are registered, but will be turned away and not allowed to vote.

Who Is Not Voting

This article explores who is not voting. Poor people are less likely to vote. Young people, as well as of those of Hispanic or Asian-American backgrounds, are less likely to vote. Notably, they’re more likely to align with the Democratic Party.

Research done by Jan Leighley, co-author with Jonathan Nagler of the book Who Votes Now? Demographics, Issues, Inequality, and Turnout in the United States, shows non-voters favor different policies than voters. “Nonvoters are more likely, for example, to support a redistribution of wealth, housing bailouts and expanded social safety net programs.”

How To Get Out The Vote

A comparison of voter scripts showed a difference in how talking to potential voters motivates them to get out. A script that tells voter turnout will be high gets them to the polls. Telling them there will be low turnout demotivates them.

Also, a script that asks the person to formulate a plan will bring them out to vote. In addition, one that makes voting personal and part of an identity will bring out voters. In contrast, just asking or encouraging to vote is useless.

volunteers registering to canvass fro katie hill

Volunteers canvassing for Katie Hill

Another study compared broader voter motivation factors. It found four most effective. These are:
1 – educate from a young age
2 – peer pressure
3 – competitive races
4 – personal, one-on-one conversations (Canvassing! and talking to friends/family)

While some of these motivating factors are out of our hands to change turnout for the next election on November 6th, there are still things we can do now to bring out voters. We can also register new voters in California up until October 22nd.

Check out events to help elect Democrats in the key, local swing districts. Let’s flip the house!