Anheuser-Busch Briefing Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H St NW, Washington, D.C.
Registration and Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
After over 1 million political ads were aired, $6 billion spent, and countless polls done, we’ve reached Election Day. Only time and your votes will tell what the outcome will be. The National Chamber Foundation takes great pride in being a non-partisan, non-political think tank, so we ask for just one thing on Election Day: that you exercise your right to vote. Why is it though that some choose not to vote? In 2008, some 15 million people were registered to vote but didn’t and another 30 million didn’t register.
SocioImages developed the chart above that breaks out Census data on America’s voting habits in 2008. It turns out that the single largest reason for not voting is that we’re simply too busy. Our lives are hectic and being asked to vote in the middle of the week can be a tough ask, let alone to brave the lines just to get to the polling booth.
It also seems that many are indifferent about the state of politics. A little over a quarter of respondents were either not interested in the 2008 election or didn’t like the candidates. And, as Brad Plumer points out, nearly half of those who didn’t register to vote did so because they weren’t interested or refused the option.
The Census Bureau’s data goes even farther. When looking at education levels, those with bachelor’s degrees or higher were far more likely to not vote because they were out of town, for instance. Young people (ages 18–24) were most likely to cite voter registration problems as being their reason for not voting. That may be because young people were also most likely to not register in time to vote.
There’s a lot more that the Census data reveals about our voting habits. As for NCF, we’ll continue our focus on some of the key emerging issues of this Election Day and the many days to come. For more on what we’re writing on, check out the links below:
“The Signal through the Jobs Noise” by Nick Schulz
“Enterprising Cyberplaces” by Bret Swanson
“Defining the New Economy” by Vanessa Lyon