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Voter Apathy

The United States is suffering from a malignant disease. This illness threatens the very core of American Democracy. Its manifestation is a certain malaise, an apathy of the spirit that keeps its citizens from participating in the very institution that sets their country apart from so many others: their Democracy. Why is voter apathy a problem? Quite simply, because "democratic citizens should have a minimum understanding of the political system in which they express preferences and elect representatives" (Niemi and Junn, 1). This can also be seen in the fact that Governments as a rule operate "more democratically as the range and depth of information held by citizens increases and as the distribution of knowledge becomes more equitable" (Delli, Carpini, and Keeter, 17). Voter apathy cuts against both of these grains. It leads citizens to disengage with the political system and to spurn information on politics or their government. It is a pernicious blot on the soul of American Democracy.

This paper will examine voter apathy in the United States from every angle. First, we will present information on the declining turnout rates in American elections. Next, we will show how this declining turnout has coincided with a decline in the political party affiliation among American voters. We will show how the increase in media outlets has led to a degradation in news coverage of elections, with news media focusing on poll results and campaign techniques rather than the main issues. We will show how these two facts have contributed to the increase in negative political advertising, which in turn has increased the political cynicism and apathy of all voters, but particularly of inexperienced or disengaged votersùthe youth. Lastly, we will describe the steps that must be taken to re-engage the electorate and banish voter apathy to the annals of the past.

In the 1950s, political scholars believed that the American democracy...

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Voter Apathy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:05, June 19, 2019, from