Voter Apathy: An Annotated Bibliography
Voter turnout has continued to decline in America. Research suggests that the primary cause for voter apathy is that politicians are boring.
Andrews, Aaron Aardvark. "What, Me Vote? Get Outta Here!" New Nudnick Reporter, 27 March 1994, pp. 31-39.
Andrews investigates the prevailing attitude of a large segment of American society that voting is a waste of time. Included in his article are results from a survey of 5000 former voters. The survey was conducted over two national election cycles and shows increasing apathy among voters. Although brief, Andrews' discussion is key to understanding why so many Americans don't vote.
Ballistic, Byron B. "Fry Them Turkeys! Politicians Are Crooks." Revolt and Rejection: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Political Science 35, March 1993, pp. 37-58.
Ballistic provides valuable analysis of why American voters are so disenchanted with American politicians. The article is extensively researched and provides a useful bibliography of research articles that include voter surveys. Ballistic uses survey results to enumerate the primary complaints that voters have against politicians and provides comparative data from some of the key surveys in tabular form.
Dimwitty, Walter C. A Brief History of the Urge to Sleep Through Televised National Election Returns. SleepWalk Press, 1992.
This collection of essays pulls together research on voter apathy from the early 1960s through 1993. The variety of viewpoints represented here and the historical comparisons presented are the major strengths of this collection. A concluding chapter pulls together the author's assumptions about voter disinterest in televised election coverage and suggests possible strategies for re-engaging voters in the process.
Dunnow, I. "Predictors of Young Adult Voting Behavior; the Beavis and Butthead' Experience." Annals of Antipathy, vol. 30, no.1, 1995, pp. 57-98.
Dunnow's humorous satire of young voters also includes considerable research. Included are results of four surveys of first time voters conducted during the 1990s. Dunnow's tongue-in-cheek approach to developing his article entertains but doesn't distract the reader from the issues covered in the article.
Faulty, Brain. A.M. Bud's Wiser; a Study of Why People Don't Vote. Say So Press, 1995.
This detailed analysis of the growing apathy among American voters comes to some startling conclusions. One of the more interesting is that 60% of American men who leave work early to vote go instead to happy hour. One of the more useful chapters in the book is devoted to a state-by-state canvassing of voters and non-voters. Results are delivered in statistical tables and illustrated with bar graphs.
Shea, Daniel M., and Rebecca Harris. “Why Bother? Because Peer-To-Peer Programs Can Mobilize Young Voters.” PS: Political Science and Politics, vol. 39, no. 2, 2006, pp. 341–345. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20451744.
This article discusses the false stereotypes surrounding today’s young generation of voters. Although voting turnout is low, it is not due to overall apathy. This generation is more likely to volunteer. Shea and Harris suggest more peer-to-peer learning groups focused on politics. The social aspect of the paradigm may encourage more young people to become politically active.
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