Voting Research Paper
Voting is privilege given to Americans. Many people don’t know how lucky they are to have the privilege to give their opinion on who leads our country. It took many years for the U.
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S to get voting rights equalized for all citizens; so everyone should take advantage of this. Participating in voting should be happening by every eligible person in the U. S. A person’s characteristics will effect whether or not they are going to participate in voting. It can either positively affect the person or negatively.
Also registering and knowing where and how to register and where too actually vote can effect whether or not a person will participate in voting. A major aspect effecting voting is a person’s family history; if growing up in a family where your family isn’t participating in voting than most likely that young person will not feel the need/responsibility to vote when eligible. A person age can effect whether people will vote or not, usually the younger generation does not participate in voting.
Also if people aren’t educated on how to register or even on what they’re voting on – tend not o bother on figuring out how too. The importance of voting is of interest to me because it directly affects me. Voting affects everyone and knowing how we got to where we are in regards to voting is interesting. Voting is so important for many reasons and I think it will be interesting to also find out by surveying young people how many of them actually vote and why or why they don’t participate in voting. The history of voting in the United States goes back to the colonial times.
In colonial times the right to vote was limited to only adult white males who owned property. Majority of women were banned from voting with exceptions of widows who owned property during this time. By 1830, the property requirements were abolished and then all white male adults could vote. (History of Voting Rights 1). Throughout history voting laws expanded to eventually giving the right to vote to majority of U. S citizens. In 1870, the fifteenth amendment was established stating that the right to vote cannot be denied due to race.
This was five years after the civil war was fought, finally giving African Americans and any other race the chance to participate in voting. Even though all races were allowed to vote, women did not fully gain that privilege until the nineteenth amendment was established in 1920. The nineteenth amendment states that “The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any States on account of sex. ” This was a huge accomplishment for women throughout the country.
In 1971 the twenty-sixth amendment lowered the voting age to eighteen for all states, before this was established only ten sates allowed citizens under the age of twenty-one to participate in voting. (Mount 1). Having voting offered to American citizens eliminates discrimination of voting because everyone has a chance to voice their opinion. We have voting rights in the United States because the United States is about choices. Many countries do not get to voice their opinion as openly as we are in the United States.
Voting is a very important part of our history; everyone should respect the struggles our country faced in order to give the people of the United States all the right to vote by voting. The rules of voting have changed many times throughout the years. As of now you must be eighteen years old, and you must be currently a U. S citizen. There is a lot of controversy on weather convicted felons should or should not be allowed to vote. The answer to that depends on where you live, seven states still have strict restrictions on letting felons vote. In order to vote you must be registered.
You can register in different ways. One way is call a 800 number and get a registration form sent to your house fill it out and mail it back in to your local city or town hall. You must receive your confirmation to know you are definitely registered. Another way to register is to register in person at any registration location where you must complete a series of questions to qualify you to be allowed to vote. Some high schools automatically register you when they know you are turning eighteen they will send in the form for you. You can also register at motor vehicles by filling out a form. Galvin 1) When voting you must bring a form of identification. Acceptable identification can be; your voter’s registration certificate along with a drivers license and or a photo I. D that you can get from motor vehicles. In order to be able to vote you must be registered twenty days prior to Election Day. (Galvin 1) Registering to vote is very simple, does not take up time and is worth it. In order to find out first hand if young people are participating in voting or not and if certain characteristics truly do effect this I conducted a 100 person survey.
Surveying people is the best method to find out about voting their take on voting because it’s a non judgmental way to hopefully get the truth. Also I got to pick mainly who I wanted to get surveyed; for this study I only surveyed people under the age of 30 because I was more interested on how younger people are or aren’t participating in voting. This was an easy task because my first thirty surveys got handed out throughout class, than the other seventy I distributed out at work where I in counter young people all throughout the day so it was still a random survey.
In my survey I asked the person’s gender and age, whether they were registered to vote or not and how they got registered; if they participate in voting if so what they vote on; whether voting is important to them and their families; if their parents participate in voting; if they understand how our voting system works and where they found out how to vote; if they agree on how our voting system works why or why not and if they feel voting is an important part in our country.
These were all questions to find out basics about young voters and young non-voters as to why or why they don’t vote, and also certain characteristics such as their ages and gender and family history and how that might affect the person. Before conducting this survey I wasn’t expecting to find many young people to take an interest on the topic of voting. I also believed most young people who say they are registered to vote and do participate actively in voting that their families also participate in voting. I expected to find more young women to participate in voting rather than young men.
After finishing my survey and collecting the results I found out when comparing females to males that majority of females that are registered do participate voting, rather than the majority of males that are registered less do actually participate in voting. Also as a whole I found out that when asking the people who do vote whether their families do vote majority of them claimed that their families do vote, and when asking people who are registered but do not participate in voting that majority of their families do not participate in voting.
When going through my results looking at most people who are registered to vote but still didn’t participate in voting they did not register themselves, majority of them checked the spot saying that their high school automatically registered them. Surprisingly I found a lot of people do believe voting is an important part of our country but that they do not believe they way our system works is fairly, a lot of answers claim that they believe their vote doesn’t count and that is why they don’t bother participating in voting.
It’s refreshing to see that many young people do believe in voting and even better seeing how many do actually participate. The results and my anticipation matched up to a point. More women than men do participate in voting from my calculations, but I didn’t expect to even find as many people interested in voting as I did. I believed more women take a part in voting and I found that is true because women didn’t always have the right to vote so now that we do and learning about the struggles it took to get women to vote may be why more women do participate in voting rather than most men who were almost always offered the right to vote.
I learned that many people do not even know how our voting system works or where to register. Registering is so easy to do, I think the best way to register is to offer it in high-schools, not something that’s done automatically because than people aren’t really interested they are just registered but having it offered makes it an easy way for people right as they become eligible and also can teach them how and where they can participate in voting. Looking at voting from a functional analysis point of view would be pro-voting.
The people who do believe voting is important and that their opinion does matter and does contribute to the outcome of what they’re voting on is the same as looking at society as a whole but knowing that each different part of society makes up a different part and has its own function. Society’s function is to vote on its leaders, the leaders function is to run and try to their best ability to satisfy the needs of its society. In one survey when answering if they find voting to be important in our country; do you think it makes a difference why or why not a person answered “Yes, every voice counts and can cause change. This is showing that some people do function and do their part in society. This is a macro way of looking at things; functional people gather data on the people they might be voting on and decide who will make a change to better their society and that’s who they chose to vote for. Looking at the topic of voting from a conflict theorist point of view you can split up society by many different groups for example democrats and republicans and how everyone who participates in voting votes one or the other do try and get their party into authority.
This sort of conflict can cause a positive change if who eventually gets chosen makes a positive change in society. Again this is a macro way of looking at voting because people are researching on who’s running who’s part of which party and what that person represents and then they cast their vote hoping for the best outcome possible. I was pleased with my results because although not everyone participates in voting more young people than I expected are actually registered and do participate in voting which is a positive sign.
I believe my survey could have been more conclusive if I surveyed a larger amount of people, 100 young people I thought would be more than enough but it really doesn’t give a big picture on the topic. Also if I could re-do this survey I would try to do an even amount of males surveyed as females surveyed just to keep that aspect of the survey equal. There are so many important reasons to participate in voting. The outcome of elections will have an impact on everyone in the United States lives. If you are unhappy with how our country is being run, or unhappy about a certain situation voting can help make a change for you.
Many believe that there vote does not really count so they do not bother to even vote. They figure there are millions of other people voting so why should they even try; the fact of the matter is that everyone’s vote does count and every time you vote it does make a difference. A lot of people believe the government and the people in charge do not have an effect on them. Elected officials make many decisions that affect everyone. The president has the power to either raise or lower taxes for all Americans so how does that decision not affect everyone. (Importance of Voting 1).
The more young people participate in voting the more it shows that there interested which will result in the government being interested in younger people’s problems and helping in making a change. You see and hear about so many complaints regarding our government and the problems they cause or the problems they aren’t helping, if you don’t vote how do you expect this to change. The United States is lucky that the citizens are allowed to participate in picking the country’s leaders, if they don’t participate though the democracy will not run properly or fairly.
Voting is the fairest way for a leader to be chosen. It’s not racist, sexist or biased everyone get there voice to be heard by voting. Some believe voting should be considered mandatory. It’s a proven fact that enforcing mandatory voting that there will definitely be an increase in the amount of voters. In some cases there was a 94. 6 percent increase. (Lansford, 55). “We live in a country where no matter what you believe, no matter what your race, sex or religion you are allowed to voice it, so take advantage of it and vote. ” (Stimpson 1).
So many different characteristics play a part on voting including a person’s gender age and their family’s history and take on voting. Learning how and where to register to vote is also an important part of voting, I found out that a lot of people don’t understand how registering and voting in our country is done, this also reflects on a young person’s family and how they participate in voting – or how they don’t and that’s why young people aren’t interested in the topic. There’s many changes that can be done to help bring up the average of young people voting – and any person voting.