Study finds voter apathy

Study finds voter apathy

Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette: Here’s some dismal news: About 90 million American voters, perhaps 40 percent of those registered, won’t go to the polls this year, a USA Today poll found.

The nonvoters favor President Barack Obama by more than two-to-one over GOP challenger Mitt Romney (43 percent to 20 percent, with another 18 percent inclined to third-party candidates and 15 percent favoring nobody).

Yet they don’t care enough to take time to participate in democracy. They’re simply bored or disgusted by America’s political process. They’re dropouts who pay little attention to public affairs and issues. More than 60 percent didn’t know that Joe Biden is vice president.

Poll director David Paleologos summed up:

“This poll is a good news, bad news story for Barack Obama. The good news is that there is a treasure chest of voters he doesn’t even have to persuade — they already like him and dislike Mitt Romney. He just needs to unlock the chest and get them out to vote. The bad news is that these people won’t vote because they feel beaten down by empty promises, a bad economy and the negativity of both parties.”

Political disincentives

We understand why many Americans grow sick of politics. It’s a zoo of exaggerations and partisan smears. However, intelligent citizens have a duty to wade through the baloney, become informed and help run their nation. It’s sad that so many throw away their right to vote. They might as well be living in a dictatorship, where people don’t have the precious right.

Only 54 percent of registered voters actually went to the polls in the crucial 2000 election — and 80 million eligible Americans didn’t vote in 2008, a year with the highest turnout since 1960. That’s depressing.

“Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote,” former Treasury Secretary William Simon wisely observed.

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