Voter Apathy


Voter apathy can be characterized as a measure of the degree of the indifference of a person to voting. Interestingly, research suggests that the lead runner has more trouble inspiring their followers to vote compared to the trailing candidates. This happens because front runner supporters are vulnerable to a complacency that requires a greater impulse to participate. Therefore, the competitor believed to have little chance of winning has a more active voting base, particularly in a nail-biting contest, their chance of winning is increased. Voter apathy is strongest when individuals feel that there is no hope for their ballot to affect the final result. Therefore, as compared with large clusters, polling activities within smaller groups elicit more energetic participation. The risk of an individual vote affecting the result becomes minuscule for far larger populations. The tendency to take part in a poll is thus inversely related to the number of voters. There are other variables that affect voter apathy, besides the size of the population. One important factor, for example, is the strength of ongoing contest among contenders. If a few people vote for a contender it is clear that they would be less motivated to vote, knowing that their effort is not likely to change the outcome. Contrarily, the voters of the other candidate earning the maximum amount of votes would be similarly complacent in the expectation that their favored choice would prevail regardless of their involvement. Therefore, during one-sided elections, voter apathy is strongest, while close contests will push most individuals to participate as their vote is prone to make a change. While voter participation in higher in closely contested elections, the winning candidate is afflicted by having to contend with supporters who are more likely to be complacent. The front runner would still have to put extra effort into galvanizing their reluctant voters by commanding a larger cohort. Voter apathy affects the overall turnout in an election for different candidates. The integrative voter performance which emerges due to dispersed responsibility clearly favors the competitor thought to have little chance of winning. Although a smaller group of supporters is led by the trailing candidate, they have a higher tendency to cast their ballots. Thus, higher turnout due to low voter apathy during close competitions will tip the balance in the direction of the underling.

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