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.

Conclusion: American Democracy into the 21st Century

Conclusion: American Democracy into the 21st Century

Conclusion: American democracy into the 21st century

Each election cycle, the news media indulge in a familiar ritual. As the races unfold and the election nears, an overarching issue rises to the surface and shrouds the whole process. It is the issue of voter participation. It has been an issue for 20 years since it became apparent in the late 1970s that voter turnout was on a steady downward spiral since 1960, when more than 62% of age-eligible Americans voted. And before each election, the news media seize on hopeful indicators that the cycle may be broken by election-specific events that will galvanize the American public.

A high-profile race that is too close to call. Two candidates with starkly divergent ...

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