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Politics Who the hell are non-voters? We polled them and found the 6 kinds of people who don't vote.

00:25  23 october  2020
00:25  23 october  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com

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Who are the "unheard third" who did not vote - and what could their role be in the coming election? Politicians will simply ignore those who don ' t vote ." In such a tightly-fought election, getting voters Three-quarters of those who say they support the Conservative Party or UKIP also say they are

all the people who are allowed to vote in an election. someone who people have elected to represent them in a parliament. someone whose job is to give journalists information that makes a politician or an organization seem as good as possible.

a group of people standing around each other: Skye Gould/Business Insider © Skye Gould/Business Insider Skye Gould/Business Insider
  • About 100 million eligible voters did not vote in the presidential election in 2016.
  • Business Insider surveyed hundreds of people and found the six most common reasons that eligible voters use to justify their decision not to vote.
  • Survey respondents cited problems with the system, problems with the candidate, issues with ballot access or registration, COVID-19 concerns, disinterest in voting and politics, and religion as reasons why they are not voting in 2020.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Growing up in southwest Ohio, Vanessa's introduction to politics began at the dinner table. She, like many, registered to vote when she turned 18, and voted Republican just like her family.

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The Cambridge University study was based on a survey of 5 million young people across 160 countries and found that this is the first time in living memory the majority have been The experience of the past decade contrasts with that of people who reached the age of 30 in the 1990s or early 2000s.

Ms Wells, who also voted for Mr Sanders, argues "it's difficult to mobilise people in a system that's continuously telling them their political goals, and movements they want to see happening, are not viable." Meanwhile, Mr Clardy supported Pete Buttigieg - but also found the last-minute rallying

Now, at 31, she says she's not planning to vote in the upcoming presidential election and has grown skeptical of the impact her vote can actually have.

"I don't really feel that my vote matters," she said in an interview with Insider. "I feel like my one vote is just one vote, and there are millions of people in America who vote."

And anyway, Vanessa said, politicians don't even listen to voters, instead swaying to the interests of big business, lobbyists, and each other. "I feel like, at the end of the day, the politicians are going to do exactly what they want to do," she said.

Ohio is one of the closest presidential contests in the country, a critical swing state that will award 18 electoral votes and is currently neck-and-neck according to pollsters and forecasters.

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They ’ll regularly put you in a position where you have to choose between them and something else They ’ll use non -toxic words with a toxic tone. The message might be innocent enough but the tone conveys so much more. I kind of look at the situation as the hard work needed for a fruitful future.

But Vanessa says she sees "no point in it."

And she's far from alone.

During the 2016 presidential election, an estimated 138 million Americans voted for President Donald Trump, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, or a third-party candidate.

After Trump's upset victory, much of the media attention has been fixated on those who cast ballots for Trump, particularly those who previously voted for President Barack Obama in 2012.

But a group that has received far less scrutiny are the 100 million eligible voters who did not cast a ballot. Those 100 million make up such a large share of the populace that if "did not vote" had been a presidential candidate in 2016, it would have won in a landslide.

Insider conducted a series of eight polls with a total of 8,975 respondents on SurveyMonkey Audience from August through early October. Respondents were asked if they were registered to vote and then subsequently if they intended to vote in the 2020 election, as well as a number of other demographic questions. Overall, 12% of respondents indicated they probably or definitely would not vote in the 2020 election.

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They are deprived of common necessities such as food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water. They also suffer from the lack of access to opportunities such as education, information, health care and employment.

In one of these surveys, we asked the set of respondents who indicated they would not vote — 141 voting-age Americans — a follow-up question, asking them to expand on their reasons for not voting. These open-ended responses were then analyzed and coded and give us a look into the specific motivations for abstaining from the ballot.

Insider found that non-voters fit into one of six categories.

Problems accessing a ballot or registering (9%)

This encompasses 9% of the respondents. Some Americans choose not to vote due to difficulties in registering or obtaining a ballot. Unlike other non-voters who may be disengaged or ineligible, the voters in this category may be legitimately disenfranchised, desiring to vote but unable to because of political roadblocks and suppressive tactics.

In their open-ended responses, these voters told Insider that they are not voting because:

  • "Not registered."
  • "I don't have regular access to a car and don't feel strongly enough to vote for either candidate."
  • "I do not have a way to get to a polling place."
  • "I just don't really want to, and also COVID is out, and I honestly don't wanna risk it."

The US only permits online transmission of ballots for certain military and overseas voters, and states have varying restrictions regarding who can vote by mail. In doing so, those without the ability to take time off of work or lack transportation suffer disenfranchisement.

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Other reasons why someone in this category may not vote include not having a government-issued ID, being removed from the voter rolls, or reduced voting hours.

Just two respondents to Insider polling expressed discomfort with voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many states have expanded early and mail-in voting, others have remained steadfast, like Texas, whose government noted that fear of COVID-19 is not grounds to receive an absentee/mail-in ballot.

Dissatisfaction with the US voting system (11%)

A subsection of voters — 11% of those who abstain from voting — do so out of systemic problems or disagreements with the process or contention that their vote is ineffective.

Non-voters who cited voting issues told Insider:

  • "My state is always a lock for one party during presidential elections."
  • "I believe that my vote really doesn't matter. Especially with shady practices seemingly being an every election occurrence."
  • "Too many issues with absentee ballots."

President Donald Trump has sown distrust in the November election by repeatedly pushing baseless claims of absentee and mail-in voter fraud. In addition, some eligible voters feel that their vote does not matter due to the country's use of the electoral college: if a state is reliably going to vote for one party, some eligible voters feel dis-incentivized to vote if they support the opposing party.

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Ineligibility (14%)

Fourteen percent of non-voting respondents said that they do not have the legal authority to vote. This includes non-citizens, green card holders, underage Americans, and people with felony charges.

Realistically, it's likely that the true number is significantly higher. As a digital survey, participation necessitated using a device connected to the internet; the survey by definition excludes those who are incarcerated and likely under-sampled non-voters who have recently exited the criminal justice system and may lack immediate access to the kind of technology that enables participation in internet surveys. The 14% figure should be understood best as a baseline, low-end estimate for that reason.

Currently, there are more than 5 million people who are unable to vote in the US because they are incarcerated, on probation, or on parole.

Ineligible non-voters told Insider:

  • "I have a green card. I don't think I can vote."
  • "As a resident alien, I cannot vote whilst on a green card."
  • "I can't vote because I'm not a citizen."

Dissatisfaction with candidates (21%)

For 21% of the non-voters, the issue lay with the candidates.

Sam Corman is a 23-year-old non-voter from Connecticut who currently works as a digital strategist for a software company in Arizona. While he was eligible to vote in the 2016 election, he ultimately chose not to as he assumed Connecticut would assuredly vote Democratic, and therefore there was no reason to vote.

While Corman's issue in 2016 was with the voting system, his decision against voting in 2020 is markedly different. He told Insider in an interview that he doesn't have faith in either major-party candidate in this election.

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"I truly don't believe either candidate is running for president for, you know, the right reasons," Corman told Insider. "And I don't believe that either candidate is good or will be a good president. We've seen one, and the other I just don't believe is a good alternative, so I don't think that my vote should go to either one."

Other non-voters with issues with Biden or Trump told Insider:

  • "We are forced into choosing between only two candidates and these two are both corrupt garbage people that I don't want running our country."
  • "Don't like either candidate, and I don't believe either person will make a big difference in the negative direction the country is headed towards."
  • "There are no decent candidates for the 2nd election in a row."

Having only two major candidates on the ballot frequently does not appease every voter, leading to antipathy to voting and the electoral process. According to the Pew Research Center, issues with the chosen candidates were the most common reason people opted out of voting in 2016.

Other (21%)

A large swath of respondents didn't neatly fit into any specific categorization, whether because they declined to elaborate their reasoning or because the reason they offered didn't align with the other major trends. All told, 21% of non-voting respondents fit into this category.

These non-voters told Insider that they are not voting because:

  • "I believe that God's kingdom is the only solution to the problems we all face."
  • "Because of my religious beliefs."
  • "Voting adds your name to be selected for jury duty. I, like most people, don't like jury duty."

Included in this category are religions such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Christadelphians, which do not permit practicing followers to participate in elections.

Additionally, some eligible voters do not plan to vote to avoid any chance of being selected for jury duty. Alabama, South Dakota, Louisiana, and Tennessee's Eastern District and Western Districts solely rely upon voter rolls and registrations to summon potential jurors. Some states, such as California, Florida, and Maine, do not use voting records at all in their jury summons process.

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Lack of interest in politics (23%)

For 23% of the respondents, there was simply a lack of interest in voting.

Disinterested non-voters told Insider they are not voting in 2020 because:

  • "I'm not into politics."
  • "I don't see as my vote mattering in the election. I'd rather vote on state elections than useless presidential majority vote elections."
  • "I don't want to do it."

A large portion of non-voters are simply uninterested and would rather leave the decision to someone else. According to the Knight Foundation's 2020 report on non-voters, young eligible voters between the ages of 18 to 24 are say they're increasingly disinterested in voting and do not follow political news.

Is the burnout with the process that severe?

"I voted when I was younger," said Vanessa, the non-voter from Ohio. "As soon as I was able to register to vote, I registered and I started voting," she said. "But as time went on, I just realized it really doesn't make a difference. Politicians are gonna do exactly what they want, and they're going to do what they want, whether or not I vote for them or not."

According to FiveThirtyEight, the popular vote in the state of Ohio is projected to be decided by less than half of a percentage point.

Grace Panetta contributed to reporting.

More on non-voters:

Insider poll: More than 20% of Asian Americans say they do not plan on voting in the 2020 election

Insider poll: People without a college degree are much more likely than others to say they don't intend to vote this year

Unemployed Americans are more likely to not vote, a new Insider poll finds

America's 1.3 million Jehovah's Witnesses will be sitting out the election

Expanded Coverage Module: insider-voter-guide
Read the original article on Business Insider

Survey: Nearly 2 out of 3 voters will cast their ballots early in-person or by mail, not on Election Day .
The survey showed a significant partisan divide, too. Those supporting Biden are more likely to say they plan to vote by mail than those who support Trump.When combining those who are voting by mail (42%) and those who voting early in-person (26%), nearly 2 in 3 voters will be casting their ballot ahead of Election Day, according to a survey from the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project.

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