The Change Agent

Volume 18: Voting in the 2004 Elections

Why People Don't Vote

by Angela Orlando

Graph for Reasons People don't voteThere are lots of reasons people give for not voting. The chart to the right shows some of the reasons people said they didn't vote in the 2000 presidential election.

Those might not be all of the reasons though. Can you think of others?

The Kettering Foundation did some research to find out why people don't vote and here's what they found out:

  • People are turned off by negative campaigning.
  • When candidates promise too much people stop believing in them.
  • People who believe candidates will say almost anything to get elected vote less.
  • Some people think the campaign is too long and decide to tune out.

Questions to Think About

1. Compare the reasons people gave for not voting that are listed in the chart at the right to the reasons above. What differences do you notice? Do you think some reasons are more true than others?
2. Are there people you know who don't vote? What reasons do they give for not voting?
3. Look at the cartoons on this page. Have you ever felt like that? If you don't vote, can you explain why?
4. What do you think could be done so more people will vote?

Angela Orlando is the editor of The Change Agent.

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