Voters show enthusiasm in midterms

According to research conducted by Pew Research Center, 51 percent of registered voters say they are more enthusiastic about voting than usual.

But, voter enthusiasm has not been this high in at least 20 years, according to Pew. What is contributing to this positive attitude toward voting in the midterms?

One thing on voters’ minds is the control of Congress, according to Pew.

68 percent of registered voters “say that which party controls Congress will be a factor in their vote this year. The share of voters who say partisan control of Congress matters for their vote is at the highest point in any midterm dating to 1998.”

Pew research also indicates voters are factoring President Trump in their midterm voting preferences more than any presidents in the last 30 years. Only 39 percent “say that Trump is not much of a factor in their vote.”

Despite the enthusiasm, a number of eligible voters do not participate in the voting process.

According to the Morrison Institute Arizona Voter Crisis report, Riester conducted focus groups for the Arizona Clean Elections Commission (ACEC) to observe voters and determine what deters them from voting in local and non-presidential elections.

Riester’s report to the ACEC stated, “While some participants felt local elections were less impactful than statewide and national elections, most agreed with other participants that ‘local matters’ when the conversation progressed. Even so, few mentioned following local elections at all. Participants all felt that you had to dedicate time to search for information for local versus presidential elections where information is ‘in front of your face’ all the time. Among those who follow local elections, interest is primarily issue and topic driven, rather than candidate driven.”

Transportation is another common deterrent.

According to The Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2016 Survey of the Performance of American Elections, 14 percent of people claimed transportation as a major factor for not voting on Election Day in 2016. 15.4 percent said it was a minor factor.  

In an effort to combat the transportation issue, Lyft, Uber and Lime are offering discounted rides to the polls today.

Registered voters can cast their votes for the midterm elections today at their assigned polling place.  

Sierra Ciaramella

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