Sunday, May 24, 2015

Voter Statistics Don't Lie.

I recently came across a report concerning voter turnout in the 2012 Presidential Election. Information in the report was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau, so I know it is fairly accurate. The numbers were somewhat surprising. Accordingly, I believe my readers should be made aware of these numbers, as to encourage voting on a broader scale.

No matter the candidates presented to you, voting is the last ounce of power left with the People of these United States. Don't like the candidates on your ballot? You can always ask for a write-in ballot. Either way -- MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!

In the 2012 Presidential Election, overall turnout was around 57%. Approximately 93,000,000 Americans failed to exercise their right to vote. That's pathetic.

Of the Americans whom did vote, the breakdown went as follows.

In households earning less than $50,000, only 62% bothered to vote. When compared to higher income households earning more than $75,000, that number drastically jumps to 77%.

The length of time a person has lived in their home also affects their likelihood to vote. 76% of those having spent five years or more in the same location voted. Of those in the same spot for a year to four years, turnout was 64%. Those at their location for a year or less were the least likely to vote -- only 61%.

Perhaps the biggest gap in voter turnout during the 2012 Presidential Election was in age. Of voters age 18 to 29, 45% cast a vote. That number skyrocketed to 66% when looking at voters over the age of 30.

Finally, ethnicity also played a key role in the election. 64% of non-Hispanic Caucasians voted. For the first time in history, the percentage of voting African-Americans eclipsed the turnout of Whites -- 66%. Alarmingly, Hispanics and Asians were astounding less likely to have voted. Only 48% of Hispanics did so, whereas 47% of Asians turned out at the voting booth. Overall, minority groups failed to surpass the number of White voters in total.

What can be learned from these statistics?

Older Caucasians with established homes and higher incomes were the most likely to vote. Highly mobile citizens, whom are often younger, earning less income and potentially of an ethnic minority group, were less likely to vote.

So where do we go from here?

The numbers don't lie. To improve voter turnout, we need to make it easier for citizens to vote. That means increasing registration periods, enacting same-day registration policies, making polling locations available to all potential voters (regardless of residence), making Election Day a national holiday, adding extra days to the voting period, increasing the number of voting locations and making the voting process less cumbersome.

In my personal opinion, taking a stance against these corrective measures indicates that you're opposed to all citizens having an equal opportunity to vote.

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