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 am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. 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. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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