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Assignment Questions

Comparison of the Voter Turn Out in the United States

American democracy is celebrated globally as the example for all other democracies to model their governments upon. Despite this prestigious reputation, the United States has lower voter turnout rates than many other democracies.

Analyze and Compare voter turnout for Presidential elections of 1988, 1996 and 2004 to assess voter behavior.

Compare and contrast the characteristics designated in the template below.

Evaluate what policies, efforts and actions were successful at increasing voter turnout.

Case Study #1 Voter Turnout 1988

? What was the aggregate voter turnout for the 1988 election?
? Is this turnout level higher or lower than normal than normal election turnout?
? What were the sociological factors, psychological factors, and key political issues that may have
influenced the turnout rate during this election?
? Based on the outcome of the 1988 election (George H.W. elected), what voting model might best
explain the outcome; retrospective, prospective, or electoral competition model?
? Were there any demographic patterns that played a major factor in the selection of the winner?

Case Study #2 Voter Turnout 1996

? What was the aggregate voter turnout for the 1996 election?
? Is this turnout level higher or lower than normal than normal election turnout?
? What were the sociological factors, psychological factors, and key political issues that may have
influenced the turnout rate during this election?
? Based on the outcome of the 1996 election (Bill Clinton elected), what voting model might best
explain the outcome; retrospective, prospective, or electoral competition model?
? Were there any demographic patterns that played a major factor in the selection of the winner?

Case Study #3 Voter Turnout 2004
? What was the aggregate voter turnout for the 2004 election?
? Is this turnout level higher or lower than normal than normal election turnout?
? What were the sociological factors, psychological factors, and key political issues that may
have influenced the turnout rate during this election?
? Based on the outcome of the 2004 election (George W. Bush elected), what votingmodel
might best explain the outcome; retrospective, prospective, or electoral competition model?
? Were there any demographic patterns that played a major factor in the selection of the winner?

Compare, Contrast, and Conclude

? What similarities in voter turnout remained constant through these three case studies?
? What difference did you notice in voter turnout and behavior through these three elections?
? Were there any major efforts by interest groups or non-profits to increase voter turnout over
the period of these three elections? Were these efforts effective?
? What are some of the effects you see of lower voter turnout?
? Do you think voter turnout will decrease or increase in the future? Explain your answer.

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