Election News & Analysis

Voter turnout and how it impacts elections

By 1 year ago

By Rehman Tungekar (KBIA News)

Tomorrow, voters will be heading to the polls to select a new round of elected officials.

Or, to be more accurate, some voters are going to the polls. If the best projections hold true, then at least a quarter of eligible voters will not. In the 2008 general election, nearly 40 percent of eligible voters didn’t cast a ballot. In non-presidential elections the numbers are usually even less encouraging.

So, how does it affect things when a large share of the voting-age population is not involved in selecting our officials? What would it take to get more people to the polls? And, would the outcomes look any different if everyone did participate?

To find out, KBIA’s Intersection spoke to two political scientists and a local organizer about why some people just don’t vote.


John Petrocik is a professor and chair of the Political Science department at the University of Missouri. He specializes in electoral politics, public opinion and voting.

Terry Smith is the executive vice president and dean for academic affairs at Columbia College. He is an American politics enthusiast, and provides regular political commentary on KBIA.

Marvin Stemmons is a promoter and organizer in Columbia. This year he led the Swagg the Vote campaign, which is aimed at encouraging young people to vote.


Click here to watch the entire show.

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