An Analysis of the Voting Structure in US Elections

Irdc: The studies and statistics show that United States has the lowest rate of participation in the elections. Almost one third of American adults do not vote. And the ones who vote, are deeply angry and suspicious about the politics. They are tired of prudery, the monotonous tone of presidential campaigns and the huge amont of money spent on them. Most of them believe that voting wouldn't make a change. 79 percent of participants in a New York Times and CBS opinion polling believed that "The government is run by a few beneficiaries taking care of their own intrest".

Some claim that non voters are more indifferent and less informed and thus, more probable to be influenced by prejudice and demogoguery. That's why they do not use their right to vote. There's an assumption behind this, that the rich educated voters act more rationally and are less motivated by personal interests and ethnic or class prejudice. That is one of the good assumptions high and middle class people have about themselves.

Others believe that many won't bother to vote, cause they are kind of satisfied with their situation. Some people definitely are indifferent about political affairs, even the ones affecting important aspects of their lives, because of their lightheartedness. But being more general, the indifference is mostly a defense mechanism against the helplessness and hopelessness. Actually the indifference might mean hatred.

Some political analysts believe that the rate of participation is not important, and the priorities of voters and non voters are almost the same. Therefore, the result of many elections won't change if we add the votes of non voters. But the truth is that people with high incomes vote twice as many as the people with low incomes, and their votes are three times as many to conservatives' advantage. Accordingly, votes of the people with lower incomes would make a change, as it has made before.

Some others claim that the deprived groups such as ethnic minorities who believe that the political mechanisms has taken away the oppurtunities of a better life from them, have to accept the fact that they are less in number and can have great support for their interests. If the political order is meant to react to the power of majorities, minorities would be hopeless. The weird thing about this claim is that they never speak of minor beneficiary groups like the owners of oil firms. They are less than the poor. But neither they are deprived from their demands, nor the bankers, owners of the industries and billionaire inevestors.

Furthermore, lots of people can't vote, because they face various kinds of threats and disappointing actions. Two hundred years of endevours and conflicts, lead to real victories. On the first days of the newly established republic, poor white men, slaves, women, the black people (even the Free Negros) and the native American (American Indians) didn't have the right to vote.

With the rise of Labour revolt during 1820's and 1830's, the law of having a specified amont of property to get the right of voting was banned. After a while with confirmation of the 19th amendment to the constitution in 20's, the women also gained the right of voting. The 23rd amendment to the constitution confirmed in 1961, said the residents of Columbia District had the right to vote. But they still Don't have the totall right to vote for the congress. In 1971, maybe as the result of the youth anti-war protests in late 60's the 26th amendment was immediately confirmed and the minimum age for voting changed from 21 to 18.

Although the 15th amendment to constitution, written with the bloods of the civil war and confirmed in 1870, had forbidden the racisim among the voters, we needed 100 years to turn it to a real thing in many areas. The supreme court ordered that participation of only white people in primary levels of the elections of the parties is against the constitution. Years of political riot and pressure with the rise of African Americans' migration to the northern cities, lead to the confirmation of some civil laws and issuing some important orders by the supreme court. This as a whole, gave the power to the government to make a move against racist authorities and racist limitations. As the consequence, the participation of African American raised alot in some southern parts.

Reagans Administration in 80's made lots of moves to prevents registering New voters. The question is:why? The answer is: apparently this group of Americans vote for the wrong person. Reagon was Republican and most of the people being invited to vote were democrats with low incomes.

In 1986, Reagan sent lots of FBI agents to southern cities to investigate more than 2000 African Americans with charge of the electral fraud. They found no evidence but it made some people have second thoughts about voting. It was as political as it was rasict.

In 1992, the democrat majorities of the congress confirmed a bill with the purpose of increasing the participation of the poor, the elderly and the disabled, letting them to register for voting while registering for assurance and... Bosch rejected it. The question is: why? The answer is:Apparently this group of Americans vote for the wrong person.


Democracy for the minorities, Michael Parenti, Islamic Republic Documents Center