The Student Blog Post series invites students from my PLS 321: Electoral Process course to author their own blogs about recent election events.
Since the two presidential nominees were announced, the 2016 election has been the talk of the town, but finally, the race has come to an end and the results are in. Donald Trump has been elected the next President of the United States, winning the election with 280 electoral votes, against his opponent Hillary Clinton, who only had 228 electoral votes in her favor. For many, this presidential election has been the most bizarre and interesting that has occurred over the last two decades, according to a study conducted over the summer by the Pew Research Center. Yet when Election Day finally came, voter turnout statistics showed that it was the lowest voter turnout since 1996. According to CNN, only 55% of voting age citizens voted this year thus far, not counting write-ins and provisional ballots, but it is no match for the 64% voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election, which is considered an example of a high point in voter turnout.
There are numerous reasons why voters are not making the time to vote, such as the fact hat none of the candidates were particularly favorable for either Republican or Democratic party. However, many voters do not vote because of voting barriers, such as not having the ability to vote. Some voters are also not particularly educated or interested enough in the world of politics to think that voting is important. Some people believe that their vote doesnt actually matter when it comes to electing the next leader of the United States. Voters can lack a sense of civic duty or even have any idea of how to vote or even how to get to a polling place. Whatever the reason, such factors are indeed affecting voter turnout and the results are definitely showing. If such low interest in politics continues and if we continue having nominees of more unfavorable candidates, it will most likely affect future presidential elections as well.
Carla Santiani is a fourth year political science major and minoring in psychology. She enjoys cooking, reading, and binging on political TV dramas. She plans on going to graduate school in the future to further her education in psychology and politics.