The number of registered voters who actually cast votes in elections is called voter turnout – and it is a critical part of the election process. The 2020 presidential election saw record-high voter numbers.
What Affects Voter Turnout?
Many factors play a role in either increasing or decreasing voter turnout. The weather on Election Day, the number of polling stations in a county, and how easy or hard it is to register to vote all affect voter turnout.
To Vote or Not to Vote?
The right to vote is often called one of the greatest rights of Americans. It is the main way that ordinary citizens can help decide how the government is run. However, a large portion of Americans simply choose not to vote. In the last 40 years of presidential elections, the turnout rate for eligible voters in the United States has never been higher than 60%.
Lack of voter turnout in the country has prompted many Americans to question why voting is not mandatory or why Election Day isn’t a federal holiday, as in many other nations worldwide. Some countries have increased voter turnout by making voting mandatory. Countries like Australia, Singapore, Peru, and others have passed voting laws that threaten fines or punishment if their citizens do not vote. Would this work in America – or would it fail to address the key reasons why so many choose not to vote? For that matter, would the Constitution allow it?