Home > B1, Learning > Your Vote Is Your Voice

Your Vote Is Your Voice

Throughout our Government and Economics course this year, we spent a great deal of time focusing on elections, specifically the essential question, “Do elections express the hopes and concerns of average Americans?” With the 2012 elections coming upon us quickly, voter participation is a huge part of average American citizens expressing their needs hopes and wants for the future of this country. However, in recent elections, there has been a lack of voter participation (the Illinois Primary is just one example) causing the voices of the citizens to vanish.

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Americans want to express their opinions, but there are many distractions and difficulties when it comes to voting, causing a lack of voter participation. One example is attitudinal change, which is increased distrust and alienation. Negative attitudes towards politics are increasing year after year causing a modest turnout. Americans are becoming less and less confident about their own role in changing the government so they simply choose not to vote. What Americans do not realize is if they do not vote, their voice has no chance of being heard.

Another example that causes less and less voter participation is the Lifestyle Change Theory. This theory talks about how our lives are just too busy and we are too distracted to really jump into politics. This argument, all in all, suggests that we are too distracted by the media, new technologies and our jobs to be involved in politics. If American’s let their lives get the best of them and they choose not to vote, they will have no impact on the election.

Lastly, the role of the news media today seems to have a significant impact on the lack of voter participation. Today, anything that grabs the public attention seems to be fair game to the media, but people feel the media is attacking politicians for coverage and popularity, whereas in the past, the politician’s personal life was kept out of the news. When people only hear only the negatives about the candidates, it causes a lack of confidence in the candidate and causes the people to not want to vote. 

In this November’s presidential election, votes will be crucial.” Campaign participation in all its forms, from voting to watching debates, is likely to continue its downward slide” according to Thomas E. Patterson, the Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. American’s everywhere deserve for their voices to be heard, which is something that has had an impact on me throughout my time in Government class. Voter Participation will be essential in the 2012 presidential elections – people need to vote for their voices to be heard.

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  1. May 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm

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