Episode 130: Why People Don't Vote Week: Nonvoters Less Likely to Follow News, Discuss Politics with Others


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Why People Don't Vote Week: Nonvoters Less Likely to Follow News, Discuss Politics with Others
New York Times - What Really Makes Us Vote? It May Be Our Parents
FiveThirtyEight.com - Why Many Americans Don't Vote
NPR - Poll: Despite Record Turnout, 80 Million Americans Didn't Vote. Here's Why
CNBC - ‘I don’t plan to vote ever again’: The psychology of why so many people don’t vote, even in 2020
American Progress - Increasing Voter Participation in America

Groups Taking Action:
Movement Voter Project, Voto Latino, Black Voters Matter, Vote.org

You’re listening to the American Democracy Minute, keeping YOUR government by and for the people.

This week we’re looking at the reasons why people don’t vote. Research shows when citizens don’t follow the daily news, or when their family and friends don’t vote, citizens are less likely to vote.

A 2020 IPSOS/NPR survey shows a suspicion of news media among nonvoters, 80% of whom agreed with the statement, “The mainstream media are more interested in making money than telling the truth.” Nonvoters watch less television, see less news on mobile devices and computers, and are less likely to follow campaigns. Only a third watched part of a political convention, and two-thirds didn’t watch a debate.

Another factor: Family & friends. Only 5% of nonvoters say they DO discuss politics with family members, 41% NEVER discuss politics with their family, 53% say they never discuss politics with friends. But there is more and more evidence that influence of family members and friends can encourage nonvoters to register and vote, particularly among younger voters.

A 2016 New York Times article interviewed Henry Brady, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He said, “Voting behavior is very much a habit,” “If you’ve had the behavior modeled in your home by your parents consistently voting, by political discussion, sometimes by participation, you start a habit formation and then when you become a little older you’ll feel it’s your duty and responsibility to register and vote.”

Links to articles and the surveys can be found at AmericanDemocracyMinute.org

For the American Democracy Minute, I’m Brian Beihl

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