3 Points PA Experts Made Recently About Voter Apathy in 2014 Midterms, Necessary Reforms

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Here’s the problem: While public dissatisfaction with elected officials is high, voter turnout in this past midterm election was low – the lowest in seven decades.

So, why is that? And more importantly, what can be done to get more voters to the polls to cast their ballots in Pennsylvania?

A group of experts met this past weekend in Harrisburg to discuss those matters during the 4th annual Life Esteem International Kwanzaa Festival at Harrisburg Area Community College, according to a story on PennLive.

Here are three points made by the panel experts that we thought were especially interesting:

1. Gerrymandered PA districts may have skewed the November elections in favor of the GOP

The effects of gerrymandering, (one of the experts) said, were particularly acute in Pennsylvania in last month’s election. (The expert) said Republicans received about 55 percent of the vote in the state House, but got roughly 60 percent of its seats. Likewise, he said, Republicans got about 54 percent of vote in the state Senate but 68 percent of its seats.

The expert added:

“That is purely an impact of how we draw the lines of things as opposed to the outcome,” he said. “So we have some sort of structural issues facing the electorate and then we have this frustration of people feeling as if they can do nothing, as if there voice isn’t heard.”

2. Pennsylvania is NOT one of the 43 states that allow some form of early voting. But experts said it would help drive turnout.

On average, (the expert) said, early voting states allow voters to cast their ballots up to 10 days before an election, resulting in an increase in voter participation.

3. More grassroots and community discussions about election would drive turnout of minority/young voters.

(One of the experts) said too often, voters, particularly young or minority voters, are unaware an election is even happening.

“There isn’t a strong grassroots organization to actually go to these groups and say, ‘Hey there’s an election. These are the issues on the ballot’,” she said.

To read the entire PennLive story, click here.

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