Why Don't Americans Vote?
Causes and Consequences
by Bridgett A. King and Kathleen Hale, Editors
July 2016, 227pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4115-6
$58, £45, 51€, A80
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4116-3
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How do socialization, mobilization, and legal structures help—or hinder—participation in the political process?

This timely book provides a thought-provoking discussion of issues that influence voter registration and turnout in contemporary America.

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
Bridgett A. King, PhD, is assistant professor of political science at Auburn University, Auburn, AL, and an instructor in the Election Center's Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) program. King was formerly a voting rights researcher at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

Kathleen Hale, JD, PhD, is associate professor of political science and director of the MPA program at Auburn University, Auburn, AL. She is a board member of the Election Center and an instructor in the Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) program. Hale is the coauthor of Administering Elections: How American Elections Work, written with Robert Montjoy and Mitchell Brown.


"Anyone interested in learning about voter turnout in U.S. elections will find something of interest in this slim volume."—Booklist, September 14, 2016

"Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty."—Choice, January 4, 2017
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