World Poll: Young Americans think democracy is “broken,” but intend to vote in record numbers
Five Hours of Training and $285 to Guard Democracy
Poll workers, like myself, are the face of the electoral process.We were paid $60 for the training. We’ll be paid $225 for the 16 and a half hours we’ll work on Election Day, at polling locations I suspect won’t be perfectly COVID-compliant.
More than four out of five young Americans are planning to vote in 2020, according to a new poll — but nearly as many say the US’s democracy is “broken.”
The, conducted by among 1,043 18- to 30-year-old Americans September 30 to October 8, found 76 percent of those polled were “very likely” to vote in the presidential election, and another 8 percent were “somewhat likely.”
This would be a huge uptick in participation from this age group. Just four years ago, aconducted October 7-17 of 2,150 young adults age 18-29 found that only 49 percent of respondents said they would “definitely be voting” that year. This tracked well with what actually happened. , 50 percent of this age group ended up voting in the 2016 general election. And in 2008, considered a banner year for youth turnout, of this cohort turned out to vote.
Donald Trump's Call to Militia to 'Watch' Polling Places Raises Fears of Voter Intimidation
The president's plea to his "people" may increase the belligerence of armed militia members, but voting-rights advocates are ready to fight back.At 2020's first (and perhaps only) presidential debate, President Trump's plea to his "people" to "go into the polls and watch very carefully" got the attention of voting advocates and militia members alike. And no wonder: private militias have become a very visible symbol of polarized America, and have been deploying themselves with increasing belligerence at anti-racism rallies and other social protests.
All this is to say, if 84 percent of young people actually turned out to vote (or even a much lower share), that would be a seismic shift in voting behavior.
The poll also underlines a defining characteristic of the 2020 election: It could be a year of historic democratic turnout, even as Americans’ faith in their elected leaders, fellow citizens, and electoral processes.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they strongly or somewhat agreed that “our democracy is broken.” Overwhelming majorities of those polled said their were structural issues with things like voter registration and hurdles to casting a ballot.
Why it can be hard to vote in the US
Long queues, weird rules and strict ID laws what are the barriers to voting and why do they exist? © Getty Images Images of the long queues of early voters were both celebrated as a sign of enthusiasm and criticised as evidence of a creaking electoral system.Queues, restrictive voting laws and limited access to polling stations all keep people from participating in the democratic process, says Andrea Hailey, the CEO of Vote.org, a non-partisan non-profit that aims to use technology to help people register to vote.
Nearly as many, 65 percent, agreed with that phrase and that “political parties and politicians don’t care about people like them.” Despite their stated disillusionment with both parties, over half of respondents are hoping former Vice President Joe Biden wins the election and only 23 percent said the same for President Donald Trump.
Concerns about the Electoral College are resonating as well, with nearly 60 percent of respondents indicating some degree of concern “that the electoral college winner will be different than the popular vote winner.” Young voters, who say the US should “amend the Constitution so the candidate who receives the most votes wins.”
Young people are frustrated by barriers to voting
Vox’s Karen Turner has reported on, writing that while “narratives around the youth vote have long centered around apathy” we are ignoring the ways that young people’s lives “are not set up for [voting]”. Turner adds that registering to vote is not always a simple process and figuring out where to vote and what items you may need to bring can be overwhelming to young people who have moved away from home for the first time for a job or for higher education.
Young people have a stake in our future. Let them vote.
75 million American citizens can’t vote in this election. What if we changed that?In the last year, there’ve been encouraging signs that we might rethink this. Democratic candidate Andrew Yang argued for a voting age of 16, and a bill proposing a voting age of 16 died in the US House in March 2019 with a majority of Democratic representatives supporting it.
This sentiment is clear in Vice and Ipsos’s poll — over 70 percent of poll respondents agreed that the government needs to modernize voting and voter registration and that “Election Day should be a national holiday.”
We’re already seeing, , across the country as early vote begins. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott is accused of making it inordinately difficult to drop off ballots by in ballots per county. For context, Texas’s Harris County is .
Harris County is bigger than the state of Rhode Island, and we're supposed to have 1 site? This isn't security, it's suppression. Mail ballot voters shouldn't have to drive 30 miles to drop off their ballot, or rely on a mail system that’s facing cutbacks.— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX)
Young Americans are tuned in to this — 59 percent of them say that they’re concerned about voter suppression and 64 percent are concerned that their votes won’t be counted if they are sent by mail. Worries about mail ballots may have to do with Trump’s attacks on vote by mail, which have sparked widespread concern,
What Polls Say About Trump Vs. Biden in Key Swing States With Just 10 Days to the Election
Newsweek analyzed recent polling data from nine of the battleground states deemed most essential to both Biden and Trump in their hopes to secure the presidency.Although more than 52 million Americans have already cast their vote early ahead of the election, many states don't reveal data showing which parties the voters belong to, providing little insight into how either candidate is currently doing.
There is likely also confusion around mail-in ballot regulations; the Times has. Vox’s Andrew Prokop has explained how leaving behind the “secrecy envelope” when mailing your ballot back in Pennsylvania could lead to “many voters’ non-fraudulent ballots [being] thrown out on what’s essentially a technicality, simply because they misunderstood the rules.” However, 38 percent of those surveyed still say they’ll vote by mail or absentee ballot drop-off.
Whether young people have been radicalized by the last four years or another driver, 2020 could be a year of increased turnout — even if young voters think they’ll have to surmount numerous obstacles to vote.
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A Broken Health System Is a Threat to Freedom .
The lack of universal coverage has made the U.S. more vulnerable to Trump’s demagogic appeals.In normal democracies, health care is not the reserve of an elite, and citizens count on both the prevention and the treatment of disease. Universal health care serves as the moral bridge between citizens and their governments. In this sense, the United States is not a normal democracy. Untreated illness and uncertain care fill our politics with unnecessary fear and rage. Our president pushes this logic by offering insecurity instead of security as the aim of politics.