Voter Turnout: By the Numbers

A Demographic Analysis of Voter Turnout

(20 pts)

Voter Turnout.jpg

The United States may be the greatest country in the world, but not when it comes to voter turnout. Only approximately 46% of eligible voters, on average, actually vote in the United States during presidential elections; midterm elections yield an even lower turnout. What accounts for such a low turnout? What (if any) demographic factors affect this? Does age have an influence? What about gender? Does one's income have an impact?

Task #1:
For each graph, you will do two things: draw an inference from the data (provide a summary of each graph).

Graph #1:

Graph #2:

Graph #3:

Graph #4:

Graph #5:

Graph #6:

Task #2:
Using all of the data provided (Charts 1-6), explain, in general, who votes and who doesn't. What are some possible ways that we can increase turnout in these groups?

Task #3: (extra credit)
Now that you've looked at the data, I want you to create a political cartoon that addresses the issue of voter turnout. It can be overall, or for a particular demographic. I've provided a link that helps you consider some key points when creating them. I highly suggest googling "political cartoon voting" or "turnout political cartoon" for some inspiration. As you look at these example cartoons, consider the following questions:
  • What symbols are being used in the cartoon? What do they represent?
  • What words and phrases are being used in the cartoon? How do they relate to the topic of the cartoon?
  • What are you suggesting in the cartoon? What is the main message?
  • What forms of irony and satire (if any) are being used? How does this relate to your message?

Consider all of the above questions as you create your cartoon. The handout for creating your cartoon is included below, as well as the grading rubric (8 pts.)