Double-click on any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary. We have all witnessed the power of social media.
What can the social sector do to improve voter turnout in the United States? This series of articles has aimed to spark conversation around whether and how the social sector can make a difference in improving US voter turnout. What have we learned? After a long decline in US voter turnout, the turnout rate for the current primaries has rebounded to almost 30 percent —the second highest level sinceand only one percentage point off from the Obama high.
A variety of structural factors discussed in this series have been in play, both good e.
The level of competition in particular campaigns and the enthusiasm or abhorrence inspired by various candidates matters a lot. We have seen plenty of both in the nominating contests so far this year. While these factors are harder for the social sector to influence, other levers remain—though the likely impact of most traditional voting interventions may not be high.
For me, three themes stand out: There is no silver bullet for increasing turnout—a mix of strategies would need to be pursued, each on their own with incremental effects.
Primary elections routinely see lower and even less representative turnout than general elections—and therefore may offer a particularly good opportunity for philanthropy to make a difference. Others are more skeptical. Becker likewise emphasizes the need to examine differences between subgroups, arguing that we need a more nuanced segmentation of voters to understand the myriad barriers and disincentives that different groups face.
As noted at the series outsetphilanthropy remains a drop in the bucket compared with what parties, candidates, and interest groups spend on mobilization efforts. Moreover, with the federal prohibition on electioneering by c 3 organizationsthere are many things nonpartisan philanthropies hoping to increase civic engagement—regardless of the election outcome—legally cannot do.
Yet several contributors make a convincing case that the social sector can play an important role in areas where others are not incentivized to act.
Parties and interest groups invariably focus on voters they think are going to turn out and turn out for them. This leaves a lot of ground uncovered. The population that turns out to vote often differs notably from the US population at large.
Voters age 65 and older still turn out at a rate almost 30 percentage points higher than to year-olds. So, what can be done to improve the representativeness of the electorate? Abby Kiesa and Peter Levine of Tufts University focus specifically on youth turnout, but their argument for a multi-pronged approach is as relevant for the rest of the electorate.
They recommend a combination of structural reforms same-day registration, pre-registration programs, and a voting age of 16 or 17 for local electionscivic education to influence cultural norms, and get-out-the-vote efforts.
The Importance of Primary Elections Our final contributors took on primary elections—a new and almost uniquely American invention. Most other democracies and the United States, too, until the s rely on party leaders to develop candidate lists.
But primaries particularly Congressional primaries play quite an important role in US politics, in part because most voters see them as so—well—unimportant.
Primaries have become the de facto general elections—and in these safe districts, the actual general elections no longer matter. The number of seriously contested seats in Congressional elections has dropped significantly in recent years.
The social sector may be able to play an important role here. Elaine Kamarck of the Brookings Institution confirms that primary turnout remains astoundingly low: Parties and candidates are unlikely to pursue this recommendation on their own, leaving the social sector uniquely positioned to act.
The authors found that people who typically vote only in November, but who received a traditional GOTV mailer, voted in primaries at a rate 0. Given that only 9. Looking at all of this, I am left with a much clearer sense of the unfortunately, generally small impact that most traditional voting interventions yield—but also a stronger sense of where the social sector is best positioned to intervene.Sep 13, · Social scientists presented a message like this one to more than 60 million Facebook users during the Congressional elections.
Voter turnout is the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an benjaminpohle.comility varies by country, and the voting-eligible population should not be confused with the total adult population. Age and citizenship status are often among the criteria used to determine eligibility, but some countries further restrict eligibility based on sex, race, or .
Social Media Sites Are Making Voter Registration Easier Than Ever Before “We think that a total overhaul of how people vote could increase turnout by up to 20 percentage points,” said.
A common tactic used by press, politicians, and pundits to get people to vote has simply been to lament low voter turnout. But, Rogers has conducted research showing that such messages actually demotivate voting.
Oct 02, · Can Social Media Really Boost Voter Turnout? Why Big Data Falls Short of Its Political Promise Topics: presidential campaign, Facebook, Politics, politics-transformed, rock the vote.
It points to the unprecedented voter turnout witnessed during the Scottish referendum (84% – last seen in the UK in the ’s) and notes that whilst it was a generation-defining decision, “it can be argued that effective social media usage engaged the populace in conversation and debate and encouraged democratic participation, .