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Word Count: 943
Voter Turnout in Federal Elections In the past half of the twentieth century researchers observed a decline in the voter turnout in federal elections It has also been observed that the voter turnout has been higher in presidential elections than in midterm elections The main factors of the declines are the citizens negative public attitudes and the widespread political apathy On the other hand the difference between presidential and midterm election voter turnout was caused by what I call the media effect which is explained in the essay and also Kernells theoryOne of the main factors of federal vote turnout decline is the negative public attitudes toward the performance of the politicians and political institutions involved in federal politics The objects of perceived public displeasure run the complete gamut of personnel and institutions but when asked people most prominently mention politicians and the government general terms which indicate the broad nature of the attitudes people ascribe to others These negative attitudes are not necessarily personally held by respondents who voted in the election However it is likely that these feelings are fairly widespread The lodestones of discontent are politicians and the government There is a widespread perception that politicians are untrustworthy selfish unaccountable lack credibility are not true to their word etc Similarly the government sometimes imagined with a capital G and sometimes without betrays the peoples trust and accomplishes little Candidates are also mentioned frequently because as one might expect they are perceived to have the same faults as politicians Political parties are singled out as well because some attributed the lowered voting rate to the difficulties people might have in finding any good choices or in distinguishing between the parties that do exist Potential voters have difficulty in relating to the issues brought forward by the parties at election time or sometimes that the proposed policies are misguided This factor resulted in fewer and fewer people voting in federal campaigns because people look
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