Peter Alter
Peter Alter
Archivist
Chicago History Museum

Why don’t Americans vote?

In November, American citizens who are registered to vote and at least 18 years of age can cast a ballot for their presidential choice. The last presidential election (2008) saw the country’s first African American elected president.

People around the world showed their excitement for Barack Obama’s historic victory. Despite that interest in 2008, only about 58% of people who were citizens and at least 18 voted. That means about 42% of the people who could vote didn’t.

For much of the late 1900s and into the 2000s, many Americans didn’t vote. I know I played a part in that once. I was living in Europe briefly in 1988. I could have voted early in my first presidential election that year, but didn’t.

Some experts say that Americans don’t find the candidates interesting enough. Others believe people find it too hard to actually sign up or register to vote. I know many of you can’t vote yet. Do you think you will when the time comes? Why do you think other people don’t vote? I look forward to seeing what you think about an interesting question.

Discussion closed on May 16, 2012

Answers

Eshia R, 12th

April 26, 2012 - 11:18am

Americans don't due to the fact they don't want to or they not into the whole political thing

Elizabeth C, 12th

April 26, 2012 - 11:15am

Americans don't care because some people don't have time or working or. Just don't care who the president is or because it doesn't matter to people cause things not going to change in Chicago ,

Lashauna J, 11th

April 26, 2012 - 11:13am

Some Americans don't vote because they don't like what neither candidate is about. Also some americans really don't trust what some of the candidates say about what they are going to do. People don't like to be deceived.

Devonta M, 11th

April 26, 2012 - 11:12am

I think Americn can not vote because many people may not have both side of the president side people feel different situation and different things and also different onpions

Armani G, 12th

April 26, 2012 - 11:11am

Americans do not vote because their lack of knowledge & understand doesn't add up to their time to take to vote. Some people might not have a choose of who their think should lead our nation , so they rather not vote .

Christal T, 12th

April 26, 2012 - 11:11am

Americans don't vote because due to the fact that either sometimes they aren't register or the might not get the whole purpose of voting although they should know what it mean. Then it could be that they just not into the whole political thing and at the end of the day it's their choice to vote if that's what they choose to do, and can't nobody make them vote.

Jose C, 11th

April 26, 2012 - 11:11am

Many Americans don't vote because many people don't care especially since there a lot of Krooks and many of them that is running say stuff that can't accomplish so why vote for people who can't accomplish ?

Malik H, 7th

April 26, 2012 - 11:10am

For once voting make people think it's have to hard for them to think so they don't vote.

Lance R, 11th

April 26, 2012 - 11:09am

Because they might think that we will try to vote for someone black.

Brianna J, 12th

April 26, 2012 - 11:09am

Americans do not vote because it's still racism going on and it feel like their point don't count.
Also I feel americans don't vote because its actually to much going on in the world to think about voting.