Elections not only determine who will fill an office; they have a lot to say about how the democratic process works—or doesn’t work—in 21st-century America. This fascinating book sheds light on that question by focusing on factors that currently shape elections and political participation in the United States. It covers issues that are consistently in the media, such as gerrymandering; voter ID; and rules pertaining to when, where, and how Americans register and vote. But it also goes beyond the obvious to consider issues that are often overlooked—civic education and engagement, citizen apathy, and political alienation, for example.
The volume begins with an introduction to elections that includes a discussion of the history of voting in the United States. Each subsequent chapter covers a different topic relative to registration and voting. It addresses matters of education as well as socialization, mobilization, and the legal and political structures that shape U.S. political participation. Ideal for readers who may be considering such concerns for the first time, the work will foster an understanding of why political participation is important and of the causes and consequences of non-voting.
- Provides readers with the historical context of registration and voting in the United States
- Offers a broad overview of these issues today
- Showcases the various ways federal and state governments have responded to low voter turnout
- Helps readers make their own educated assessment of the concerns discussed