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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Who votes?

Dan Balz writes in The Washington Post:

Women are now more likely to vote than men. And the gap between black and white participation has narrowed significantly. In the most recent election, blacks voted at higher rates than whites in some states.

During a time of rising income inequality, wealthier and better-educated people continue to vote “at substantially higher rates” than poorer, less-educated people. That gap existed 40 years ago and still does.

Politicians and others have looked for ways to make it easier to vote. New laws that allow people to register on Election Day are one example. Those changes have had a positive, if modest, impact on the percent of eligible voters who actually cast ballots, the authors conclude, enough to change the outcome in a close election.

But they haven’t changed the imbalance in participation rates among wealthier vs. poorer Americans, nor have they affected the degree to which politicians have sought to address income inequality. The problem has gotten worse as voter participation rates have increased.

Another conclusion is that eligible voters are more likely to cast ballots if they see a difference among the candidates. “If citizens see no differences in what candidates are offering, then, there really is very little reason to show up at the polls,” according to the authors.

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