When commenting on the election results, I noted the low turnout of around 36%, the lowest since during World War II ,and said that I was curious as to the reasons why. It turns out that the Pew research organization has conducted a post-election survey to gauge the opinions of people on a range of issues concerning the election and one was the reasons they gave for not voting.
Among those who were registered to vote but chose not to, two-thirds (67%) gave reasons related to lack of time: 35% had work or school conflicts and 34% were too busy, ill, out of town or simply forgot. Two-in-ten (20%) registered non-voters say they either didn’t like the candidate choices or issues on the ballot, didn’t care about this election or didn’t have any or enough information to vote. And 10% of non-voters reported having a technical reason for not voting, either having missed the registration deadline, recently moving, or not have transportation to the polls.
While somewhat enlightening, unfortunately they did not ask what I hoped for, which was whether they would have made an effort to overcome these obstacles to voting if they cared enough about the candidate and issues. My hunch is that if people were really keen to vote, many would have found ways to overcome the time-related or technical reasons.