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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  s.wilkes 7 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #46898

    s.wilkes
    Keymaster

    Learning Objective: Understand the role of elections.

    Resources:
    1. Elections of Democracy: Participation
    2. Elections & Voting: Elections in the US
    3. Elections & Voting: Every Vote Counts
    4. Making Voting Easier
    5. Election Checklist for 501(c)(3) Public Charities

    Assignment:

    Answer and defend your answer:
    How can the United States increase voter participation? What can you do as an individual to encourage voting?

    #47089

    Michael Wile
    Participant

    The federal government can increase voter participation by increasing absentee ballots. Voting by mail has made it much easier for me to participate in voting while working in a very demanding job. Citizens can increase participation by telling all their friends not to forget to vote.

    #47137

    Natalie Parker
    Participant

    I completely agree with Michael. The rules around absentee balloting differ from state to state. For example, in my home state of Kansas, anyone can apply for an absentee ballot for any election. In Pennsylvania, however, you have to provide proof that you will be away. This additional step – and adding any steps to the process – all prevent turnout. My county in Kansas also has early voting, where people can vote up to two weeks in advance in-person at their convenience. Making absentee and early voting easier are two ways to increase turnout. A few other policies that encourage turnout:

    1) Mandatory voting
    2) Online voting
    3) Election day is a national holiday
    4) Prohibiting voter restrictive policies like voter ID laws
    5) Increasing polling place accessibility (distance, open more hours of the day, etc.)
    6) Automatic voter registration

    #47284

    Krista Davidson
    Participant

    I think some of the examples in the podcast are great ideas like keeping polling places open 24 hours, making the presidential election a national holiday or having voting periods over seven days. Advocating for better voting laws would be one way to help, also encouraging my friends and family to vote during election periods.

    #47319

    Viviana Gonz谩lez
    Participant

    I agree with the examples provided. Talking about voting with our family had a big impact for the midterm elections – family members that would have never voted did. I noticed that for the midterm elections, TX did early voting (I think it was two weeks out). I read in the news that at least in San Antonio it really helped to increase voter turnout because it made voting much easier to accomplish. People were not turned away by long lines. And yes, Election Day should be a federal holiday!

    #47343

    s.wilkes
    Keymaster

    Colorado is all ‘all-mail ballot’ state, meaning we receive our ballots in the mail from our country clerk and recorder. Included is a return envelope (postage not included). You can either mail it back in or drop off at a number of locations — all of which are outlined very clearly.

    As a frequent traveler, I very much appreciate that I can vote and return my ballot without having to worry if I might be traveling on election day.

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