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The social norms of today regarding voting are contradicting. For example, individuals who do not vote inspires others not to vote also. It has been observed that addressing the public on the low voter turnout does not motivate other to vote. On the contrary, emphasizing to the public of the benefits of high turnout motivate people to participate in the practice. An analysis of why voting is important, why some populations are less likely to vote, the Kansas voting regulations, and the mandatory voting system is put to detail.
Why is it Important to vote?
The right to vote has been considered as the concept that has founded the whole structure of democracy. When citizens of a country elect a representative to serve them, it affirms the notion that people govern themselves by free choice (Kenneth et al. 190). The right of an individual to vote ties them to the social order, regardless if the person chooses to exercise the practice or not (Kenneth et al. 190). Some of the reasons why people should vote include the fact it’s a representation of the beginning of democracy, that is, everything else in the structure of democracy is founded on voting. Equally important, according to Kenneth et al., the participation of people in voting practice is not only value but a foundational virtue of the democracy (190). Also, voting is a representation of a person’ decision, and they should not allow other people decide for them.
What are groups of people in the United States more or less likely to vote, explain why?
The people who are less liable to vote in the United States include the poor people and the racial minorities. The reason why the people are less likely to vote is that of the strict voter identification laws (Kenneth et al. 191). For instance, the strict photo identification laws have adversely affected the voting turnout of most of the Blacks, Hispanics, as well as the mixed – race Americans in both the general and primary elections (Kenneth et al. 191). In fact, the laws reflecting the identity of voters are skewed in favor of the political right and whites, which effectively make the electoral process to be biased. Critics of these laws have asserted that the laws are unnecessary and are a threat to democracy because, at the very first, voting which is the bedrock of democracy has been compromised (Kenneth et al. 191). The same critics have contended that the voter identification laws have are serving as an effective barrier that has limited the legitimate turn out of ethnic and racial minorities and also the disadvantaged groups (Kenneth et al. 191).
Consequences of Democracy that Result when Certain Groups don’t Vote
When there is a low turnout of voters, democracy is threatened. One of the reasons why it is a threat is because not all voters abstain from voting at random. Some are likely to quit voting while others are more adamant. In such a scenario, political representatives tend to serve the interests of the people who voted them in as a consequence; the interests of the people who did not vote are not served (Fowler 6). Additionally, only the interests of a few people are put into account when making up policies (Fowler 100). Such a scenario proves that democracy is threatened because it has contradicted the basis of democracy where all citizens should have an influence of equal measure (Fowler 100).
What are the Voter Registration Laws in Kansas?
Voter registrations laws outline the necessary requirements that one must possess to vote. One of the rule addresses eligibility where one to qualify, they must be aged 18 years and above, have citizenship of the U.S and also be a resident of the Kansas (Kobach 2). However, there is no rule stating the length of residency in Kansas, but they must be registered as voters 21 days before the Election Day (Kobach 2). The other rule addresses the necessary steps for one to be registered voter. People register through registration which is either found online, in the office of the secretary of state, or in the county election office (Kobach 2). Registration is available statewide and can be found in sites such as grocery stores, city offices, libraries, or in a majority of the banks (Kobach 2). Before voting, the law requires that the voters provided identification documents which could either be a driver’s license, military ID, U.S passport, or even a military ID among others (Kobach 2).
Why are the Laws in Kansas this Way?
The election laws in Kansas are unique because the state attempts to block the non-U.S citizens from registering as voters. With rules of the identity of proof of residence for the citizens, such regulations are hindering democracy (NCL 2). As asserted in this context, voting is the bedrock of democracy and obstructing the voting process translates to democracy hindrance (NCL 2). In my country, however, such rules do not exist, and all that is required is the government identification card.
Making Voting Easier citizens
Some states in the United States have embraced strategies to make the voting process easier. For example, almost all states have embraced electronic voting systems. Voters have also responded by confirming that the electronic voting systems were more accurate and accessible, therefore making the entire voting process easier (Alvarez and Thad, 137). However, it has been noted that despite these advantages, the systems were more prone to failure and fraud (Alvarez and Thad, 137). Kansas should review the voting laws because most citizens may not be in a position to prove citizenship. Also, because it is a democratic state, it should seek to ensure that every person’s vote counts because it reflects their decisions.
Mandatory Voting
In the United States of America, most citizens believe that voting is optional and this is what has made the USA a victim of low voter turnouts. However, some countries that require mandatory voting are the kind that has lagged behind regarding developments. Through mandatory voting, the interest of most citizens will be reflected, and other stronger nations will ensure that their will is done (Ellis and Michael 108). However, there are merits and demerits associated with the mandatory voting system. One advantage is higher turnout during elections. For instance, Australia suffered from low voter turnouts, but upon implementation of compulsory voting, the turnout rates scored high (Ellis and Michael 108). Proponents of mandatory voting have argued that voting should be more of a duty than a right (Ellis and Michael 108). Mandatory voting alters the norms of civics so that at the end, everybody will take part in the elections (Ellis and Michael 108).
Mandatory voting also has adverse consequences, with one of them being the rise of uninformed voters. Opponents of the compulsory system argue that those who do not turn out to vote are usually uninformed. Equally important, such voters are likely to vote political representatives because of incentives such as money.
Opponents of the mandatory system also argue that political representatives may be persuaded to shift focus to marginal areas and end up ignoring the primary base of support. Equally important, they argue that policies of development may end up being skewed because of the swinging votes (Ellis and Michael 109). However, the US government should require every citizen to vote because being a super power nation and among the most superior regarding educational infrastructure, every vote counts and the few uninformed voters would not skew the results.
In conclusion, an analysis of why voting is important, why some populations are less likely to vote, the Kansas voting regulations, and the mandatory voting system have been put to detail. One of the reasons why people should vote include the fact it’s a representation of the beginning of democracy, that is, everything else in the structure of democracy is founded on voting. Additionally, election systems and laws tend to differ in different states and countries. Some systems such as that used by Kansas where voters have to prove their citizenship have been considered to be a barrier of democracy.
Works Cited
Alvarez, R M, and Thad E. Hall. Electronic Elections: The Perils and Promises of Digital Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010. Internet resource.
Ellis, Richard, and Michael Nelson. Debating Reform: Conflicting Perspectives on How to Fix the American Political System. Los Angeles: Sage/CQ Press, 2014. Print.
Fowler, Anthony. “Quarterly Journal of Political Science.” Quarterly Electoral and Policy Consequences of Voter Turnout: Evidence from Compulsory Voting in Australia. 8.1 (2013): Print
Kenneth, Janda, Jeffrey Berry, Jerry Goldman, Deborah Schildkraut and Paul Manna. The Challenge of Democracy: American Government in Global Politics. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2017. Print.
Kobach, Kris. “Vote Kansas.” A Guide to Voting in Kansas. (2016): 2. Print
NCL. “Dual Voting Systems in Three States.” The Canvass States and Election Reform. 1.43 (2013): Print