Non Voting

AP Government and Politics

In the 2016 election, what was the #1 reason registered voters did NOT vote?

  1. Can you blame them?

  2. How accurate was your prediction?

  3. How sad is this information?

  4. What most surprised you about this data?

  5. What trends (change over time) do you see in the chart?

  6. What do you think explains that change???

  7. What is a consequence of so many people disliking the candidates?

  8. The data above is about registered voters, how different do you think this information would be for people who had not bothered to even register to vote?

  9. Explain any connection between the data above and the following: presidential honeymoon, presidential approval rating, low voter turnout.

  10. Why on earth would political parties pick candidates who are so disliked to run for president?

  11. Is there anything about the American system of presidential campaigns that might attribute to the tremendous dislike of presidential candidates?

  12. Gore Vidal famously wrote, “Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.” You may have heard of newspapers, they are the internet for old people. Explain whether you agree with Gore Vidal. I mean do you want non-voters to vote? Really?

  13. In your opinion, is there ever a good reason for non-voting?

  14. In the 2016 election, 3% of registered voters "forgot to vote!" What the what? Are you glad these folks didn't vote?

  15. Do you plan to vote in the first presidential election you will be eligible to vote in?

Learning Extension

Read the entire Non-Voting Pew Report and impress your friends!

Action Extension

Register to Vote

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Legitimacy Ya Later!

What % of voters say it is very important for the losing presidential candidate to publicly acknowledge the winner as the legitimate president of the country?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprising is this information?

  3. Only a little more than half of all Americans say it is very important for the losing presidential candidate to publicly acknowledge the winner as the legitimate president of the country. Why do you think that is?

  4. What is one consequence of this data?

  5. Explain whether you think it is very important for the losing presidential candidate to publicly acknowledge the winner as the legitimate president of the country?

  6. Is this good news?

  7. Do you think the losing presidential candidate will acknowledge the winner as the legitimate president of the country?

  8. What is the difference between Trump and Clinton voters on this subject?

  9. No matter who wins the election, describe the level of legitimacy the next president will have:

  10. When Kennedy beat Nixon in 1960, despite evidence of some voter irregularities, Nixon conceded the election. When Bush defeated Gore in 2000, despite evidence of voting irregularities, Gore conceded the election. And people of both parties generally supported the winning candidate. Why do you think the legitimacy of our system has drifted so far from those days?

  11. What do you think will happen in the 2016 presidential election?

  12. If the 2016 presidential election were an animal, what animal would it be?

  13. Do you think it is wise of Donald Trump to claim that the election is rigged like he did in this Tweet yesterday*?

  14. Why do you think he says this?


Learning Extension

Check out the Pew Research on voters views on our disputed election


Action Extension

Become an Election Worker!

Election workers are essential to ensuring that elections are a success.

With each election, millions of Americans dedicate themselves to sustaining the backbone of democracy - our election process. EAC encourages those interested in becoming election workers at the polls on election day to learn more about what is required and how to sign up to work with your local election official.

Get started and find out if you are eligible. Go to the State Compendium of Election Worker Laws and Statutes.

1.   Find out if you must be a registered voter in the state.

2.   Find out if there is an age requirement.

3.   Find out if there is a residency requirement.

4.   Find out if a political party affiliation is required.

Then contact your local election office and sign up to be an Election Worker. They'd be happy to add you to the Election Day Team!