Don't get out the vote

Who would have won the 2016 presidential election if abstention from voting (not voting) was counted as a vote for Nobody?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?
    What story does the map tell?

  2. What is a cause of this?

  3. What is a consequence of this?

  4. Is this good news for the United States?

  5. Is this good news for democracy?

  6. Is this good news for incumbents?

  7. Why do you think so few people vote?

  8. Australia has a law that people must vote or pay a fine. Here’s how it works. Voting turnout is much higher in mandatory voting countries like Australia (90%) than in places like the US. They also have barbecues at the polling place on election day. About 49% of Americans voted in the 2018 midterm election. What is the typical voter turnout in recent American presidential elections?

  9. If the United States did adopt mandatory voting, apart from higher voter turnout how would this impact the American political system?

  10. Based on this map and your knowledge of the American political system, make a claim about whether the U.S. should adopt mandatory voting.

  11. Imagine the United States decided to adopt mandatory voting rules would this be done by a congressional law, state laws, a Constitutional amendment, or some other method?

  12. Explain whether you plan to vote when you turn 18. Or if you are already 18, explain why you did or didn’t vote.

Learning Extension

Read this CityLab article about voter apathy.

Action Extension

Contact your U.S. Representative and let them know what you think about mandatory voting. Share your comments to your Representative in class or online.

Visual Extension