What are some of the problems that low voter turnout has caused the government?
What are some of the problems that low voter turnout has caused the government? What are the future implications of continuing voter apathy at the federal and local levels? Voter apathy is characterized not only by low voter turnout but also by the issues that cause people not to vote. The challenge in dealing with voter apathy is complicated by the fact that the results of voter apathy can also be identified as the root causes of voter apathy. This paper discusses how local ballot issues and term limits cause and result from voter apathy.
Local ballot issues are important in that voting for or against such issues gives citizens an opportunity to take action in the absence of legislative action. Apathy in local issues occurs when citizens either do not vote, or because of lack of understanding an issue’s language vote no. Issues that contain language such as should the legislature require voter approval to take a given action can give a mayor or governor power to enact unfavorable local initiatives. Future generations of voters may assume powerlessness to change the unfavorable actions or may feel powerless to influence the creation of future ballot issues.
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Term limits provide an example of an issue that voters may feel powerless against. Term limits were introduced and passed as a result of voting. Some feel that term limits came to be because of voter apathy, or failing to vote against implementing term limits. Term limits cause a constant change in the pool of political expertise. Every so often, a new pool of candidates that may or may not have the constituents’ best interests at heart. Voters faced with candidates that lack experience and/or common interests with voters often choose not to vote at all.
Voter apathy of today breeds voter apathy of tomorrow. Failure of current voters to vote in local initiatives creates a situation for future leaders to make decisions without citizen participation. Future voters will decide not to vote for what they already feel powerless to change.
Commentary: Voter apathy strong on Election Day.(9:00-10:00 AM)(Broadcast transcript). (Nov 5, 2002). Tavis Smiley. Retrieved October 23, 2008, from General OneFile via Gale.
Pipho, C. (Oct 1998). Voter apathy or voter overload?. Phi Delta Kappan, 80, n2. p.101(2). Retrieved October 23, 2008, from General OneFile via Gale.