Who Doesn’t Vote and Why

What drives some people to vote and others to stay home? The Pew Research center released a report on who votes, who does not, and tries to answer the question of why.

To summarize, they basically break adults into 4 categories, and then talk about each category:

Regular voters – The 35% of adults that ‘always’ vote.
Intermittent voters – The 20% of adults who are registered, but vote less regularly than Regular voters.
Registered but rare voters – The 23% of adults who rarely vote because most of the time (76%) they don’t think that they know enough about candidates issues to cast a ballot.
Unregistered adults – The 22% of the population who can’t/won’t vote because they are not registered or who’s registration has expired/lapsed.

There are a bunch stats, but the most telling to me [according to this research] are:

- Hispanic voters make up 40% of unregistered adults
18-29 year olds make up 40% of unregistered adults
Republicans are more likely to be registered to vote than Democrats
– Non-voters are more like to distrust people in general than voters

What makes a conservative person more likely to participate by voting? I would think that the opposite would be true given that liberals generally support a more active government.

I can understand a non-voting person’s reluctance to trust a politician, but why do are these same people less likely to trust anyone?

One Love. One II.


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora and am a National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I currently live in Washington, DC with my beautiful wife Ellen. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. Today I work at the crossroads of traditional political organizing and online activism. I speak before diverse audiences on empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation though emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet.

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