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Why Many Americans Don’t Vote

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Every election, millions of Americans go through a similar thought process and, it turns out, lots of people feel like Brown: They think voting doesn’t matter or isn’t worth their time.

In any given election, between 35 and 60 percent of eligible voters don’t cast a ballot. It’s not that hard to understand why. Our system doesn’t make it particularly easy to vote, and the decision to carve out a few hours to cast a ballot requires a sense of motivation that’s hard for some Americans to muster every two or four years — enthusiasm about the candidates, belief in the importance of voting itself, a sense that anything can change as the result of a single vote. “I guess I just don’t think that one person’s vote can swing an election,” said Jon Anderson, who won’t be voting for president this year because of moral objections to both candidates.

But who does — and doesn’t — vote is complex. Most Americans don’t fall neatly into any one category. Instead, as we found in our new poll with Ipsos, most are like Brown. They vote inconsistently, or at moments when they feel like their vote has a chance to make a difference, or when the stakes of not voting are just too high, which is how many Americans describe this upcoming election.

Read more at 538.



  1. People don’t vote because they knew what Joseph Stalin knew: “It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
    Hopefully President Trump got rid of the fraudulent elections.


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