Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Voter turnout in a “developed” country

Do you realize that during this election cycle, the media is reporting the possibility of one of the highest voter turnouts in recent history? The most recent highest number was (drumroll) 62.3% (2012 election)! You were expecting a much bigger number weren’t you because I know I certainly was!

That is it? That is a large voter turnout? You mean you have the right to vote and get involved in your democracy and you do not? Oh, by the way, that was for a presidential election; state and local politics turnouts tend to be so much lower, or even non-existent.

Now of course the stats might vary a little, depending on the survey, but the amount is not statistically significant enough to cheer for:

·         U.S Voter turnout trails most developed countries: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/06/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/

·         Here are 58 countries that had better turnouts—the percentage of voting-age population that voted—than the US in their most recent presidential elections, as compiled by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance: http://qz.com/24186/58-countries-with-better-voter-turnout-than-the-united-states/

There are some countries such as Australia that fines its citizens for not voting. Do we have to resort to that to get people interested in casting a ballot? But what really gets me is that the people who tend to complain the most, often did not vote even though they can (not scientifically proven, but statistically makes sense)!

I am not saying you should be canvasing for a candidate, I am not saying you need to give to already costly and expensive campaigns; what I am saying is please register, and then please vote in every election that affects you (if you can).

Food for thought…

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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