This book addresses the issue of why 51.2% of the population of the USA failed to vote in the November 1996 presidential election. Through polls and studies conducted in the spring and summer of 1996, the contributors set out to answer the following questions: what were the 51.2 percent doing that day? Who are they? Why didn't they vote? The results are summarized into five types of nonvoters: doers, unplugged, irritable, don't knows and alienated.

Don't Knows

Don't knows

Voting is considered by many the simplest, most minimal of political actions. Susan Godoy of Rosemead, California, thinks otherwise. “Voting is a very responsible thing to do.” Going to the polling place is easy, she agrees, but becoming informed so her vote has meaning takes time and effort.

Godoy kept herself deliberately uninformed about politics until a family problem brought her into contact with government. Now, at age 41, she's trying to pay attention to the news, but her interest level is low. She's concerned about gangs but says politicians aren't doing anything substantive to help kids stay out of gangs.

Elizabeth Baxley doesn't trust elected officials or government agencies. They lie, she's convinced. Even though her family receives financial aid from the government, ...

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