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Title:A Perpetuating Negative Cycle: The Effects of Economic Inequality on Voter Participation
Author(s):Saleh, Jenine
Contributor(s):Rudolph, Thomas J.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Liberal Arts and Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:B.A. (bachelor's)
Subject(s):Political Science
economic inequality
voter participation
voter turnout
Geographic Coverage:United States
Abstract:I examine the effects of economic inequality on voter participation within the United States. As economic inequality rises, voters may become unmotivated to vote during elections due to decreased levels of trust in government or skepticism that the government could create policies that would be able to alleviate the current conditions of economic inequality (Solt, Habel & Grant 2011). Therefore, if economic inequality rises, it would be those who have a lower socio-economic status that would become less inclined to participate. The lowered voter participation could be an indicator that elected officials are not adequately representing the totality of the demographics within their district or state. When examining the concept of a representative democracy, the very goal of democracy is to serve as a liaison between the government and the people it serves, ultimately connecting the two so that the government is a representation of the people it functions to represent. If economic inequality decreases voter participation within the lower socio-economic classes of society, it would be the upper socio-economic classes that elect candidates, candidates that may not have policies favoring the lower socio-economic classes, or enact policies that could be harmful to the lower socio-economic classes.
Issue Date:2015-05
Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Jenine Saleh
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-05-14

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