We offer a very balanced, thoughtful analysis of all area of politics in an open, and objective manner. The data we publish, or share will be information that is clear and accurate. If anyone ever has a question, or have an issue with a point we raise please inform us. “Knowledge is Power”, Sir Francis Bacon.
“5 Things Young People in the US Should Know About Voting” – Kristine Liao
- Young people made up more than 1/3rd of eligible voters.
- American youth have one of the lowest turnouts in the world.
- Gen Z will be the most diverse and educated generation ever.
- You can choose where you vote as a college student.
- You can Pre-Register to vote if your aren’t of voting age yet but will be by the date of the primary elections. (Such as Mississippi, California, Florida, etc.)
“Your vote is your voice“
BY JUDY PERRY MARTINEZ
As we approach the 2020 presidential election, many Americans are calling it the most consequential of their lifetime. But all elections are important, whether for school boards, local judges, town councils or the U.S. Senate. Elections provide the opportunity for citizens to express their voices and help decide the direction that our leaders should take our country. Each vote is a building block in our democracy. The more people who participate, the stronger our country becomes.
Yet, over the past 50 years, less than 60% of eligible voters have cast a ballot in our national elections, putting us behind most other developed countries. As Thomas Jefferson said, “We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”
In 2020, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment’s ratification, which granted Black men the right to vote. This year we also commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote and produced the largest expansion of democracy in our country’s history. Now is an appropriate time to examine voting rights in America and to cast aside unconstitutional obstacles to voting.
Cyberattacks by foreign nations have made our election process less trusted. Long wait times due to broken voting machines and the closings of polling places have resulted in elections that are less accessible. After the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder removed the preclearance requirements necessary for any changes in laws of jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination, restrictive election laws were enacted that further limited access.
All people eligible to vote should be able to do so easily, safely and securely. The ABA supports allowing all registered voters to vote absentee, regardless of cause, and urges Congress to develop preclearance criteria removed by the Shelby decision to protect voting rights. And the ABA urges all states to remove barriers to voting for convicted felons and opposes the imposition of fees for the reinstatement of the right to vote. Through our Vote Your Voice and Election Center webpages, the ABA provides valuable state-by-state information on elections and voter registration rules.
Our country needs lawyers to be stalwart advocates for honest, open and fair elections. We can serve as poll workers, volunteer as election advisers, and staff Election Day voter hotlines for those who have questions regarding their right to vote. In these times when we must each demonstrate our commitment to anti-racism and equity, one of the simplest ways to do so is to help people exercise their right to vote.
And as Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea noted at a recent state bar conference, lawyers’ voices are needed more than ever this election season. Many lawyers will have the chance to speak to those seeking local office. “There is no better time to talk to elected officials and candidates about the importance of our justice system than when they are asking for your vote,” Gildea said, adding that state policymakers must “know that the bench and bar are united behind a high-functioning, accessible, independent and adequately funded justice system.”
Voting is a right that must never be taken for granted. It should be accorded the passion it deserves from us all. One of the most comforting parts of my journey as ABA president is knowing that the very things that stir passion and advocacy in me also inspire those who will follow in service. I know incoming ABA President Trish Refo, my friend and sister in the law, will take up the passions that drive us as lawyers. Not only do I wish her the best, but I also know she will do more and better than those who came before her.
This story was originally published in the August-September 2020 issue of the ABA Journal under the headline: “Your Voice is Your Vote: Americans need to participate in elections that are fair, trusted and accessible.”
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These US Elections Saw the Highest Voter Turnout Rates
Voter turnout rates peaked in the 1870s and decreased in the 20th century. – Becky Little
Most modern presidential elections in the United States have a voter turnout rate of between 50 and 60 percent. Yet voter turnout rates have fluctuated throughout the country’s history based on who has the right to vote, whether people who have the right to vote are actually able to vote and how high voters perceive the stakes of an election to be. In the earliest U.S. presidential elections, only a very narrow field of Americans were able to cast votes. The 2020 election saw the biggest voter turnout rate in over a century.
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Why Are Millions of Citizens Not Registered to Vote?
“A survey of the civically unengaged finds they lack interest, but outreach opportunities exist” Pew Research Center
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In every state and the District of Columbia—except North Dakota—individuals who plan to vote in a federal election must first register to vote. However, a sizable share of eligible citizens do not register. Official statistics vary, but a conservative estimate, calculated using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Voting and Registration Supplement, indicates that 21.4 percent were not registered to vote in 2014.1
Voter turnout rates* among selected age groups in U.S. presidential elections from 1964 to 2016
Published by Aaron O’Neill, Jul 1, 2020 Since 1964, voter turnout rates in U.S. presidential elections have generally decreased across all age groups, except for those over the age of 65. From 1988 onwards, there has been a direct correlation with voter participation and age, as people become more likely to vote as they get older. Participation among eligible voters under the age of 25 is the lowest of all age groups, and in the 1996 and 2000 elections, fewer than one third of eligible voters under the age of 25 participated, compared with more than two thirds of voters over 65 years.