Voter Turmont vs Ballot Initiatives - Research Paper Example

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Voter Turnout versus Ballot Initiatives Name Institution Task Date Abstract While several states have allowed the system of ballot initiatives, others have strongly opposed the move on grounds that it will deteriorate the system of legislature. This paper will seek to look at ballot initiatives, and whether it has affects voter turnout in either a midterm or a presidential election…
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Voter Turmont vs Ballot Initiatives
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Download file to see previous pages Whether or not ballot initiatives have an effect on voter turnout in the United States is a contested question. Voter turnout referrers to the number of people who take part in a voting forum like election, referendum or other gatherings. Voter turnout exhibits some hearty pattern that explains why the number of voters varies from one place to another. According to most researches done on voter turnout, the main factor that affects voter turnouts is institutional variables (Jackman, 1987). Ballot initiative on the other side is referred to a process of whereby the people are authorized to enact or refute legislations at the polls hence superseding the legislative body. An initiative is a type of election facilitated by the people with the aim of resolving issues that elected leaders fail to raise or attend contrary to public desires. In 1962, Powell’s book, ‘Contemporary Democracies’ was the first book to be published on the study of voter turnout. His 1986 article, ‘American Political Science Review Articles’ established that countries with nationally competitive districts whose parties and members usually have enticements to persuade voters to turn up at the polls, or those that had strong party-group association such as churches and unions were likely to have high voter turnout (Powell, 1986, p 21-22). In his conclusion, Powell said that the turnout in America is inhibited by its institutional context, and the main emphasis, which is also the most powerful variable, is on party-group associations. Voter turnout in the past years has been on a declining trend in the united State, with only a few exceptions. Although some sources from defenders of participatory, normative theorists and to some extent journalist have indicated that ballot measures that are initiated by citizens are likely to increase voter turnout, other researches refute the assertions, despite use of direct democracy having been embraced in the United States for the last 25 years. Whereas those who prefer direct democracy dispute that citizen participation, efficacy and confidence in the government can only be increased by permitting citizens to vote directly on policy issues, those who oppose say the process will only have minimal change, and threatens to deteriorate state legislatures and replace representative democracy (Broder, 2000). Most of the conclusions based on the comparative cross-national research are vigorous and as a result, there lacks a compelling foundation over the connection between voter turnout and ballot initiatives. Institutional variables in the end get to be overstated. Use of the initiative process for over 26 years in 50 states has been linked to higher turnout rates. The initiative process is evidently assisting in increasing the number of turnout in electoral participation. For example, in the 1990’s the discrepancy in turnout rates between initiative and non initiative states has been on the rise over time, estimated at 3% to 4.5% higher in presidential elections and between 7% to 9% higher in midterm elections (Tolbert Grummel & Smith, 2001). The rate of ballot initiative measures is increasing in the United States, with an increase on the use of initiatives to decide policy matters. In states such as California, Mississippi, Colorado, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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