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MLA
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Social Sciences
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Research Paper
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English (U.S.)
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Topic:

Why do the elderly vote in higher proportions than the young? (Research Paper Sample)

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DATE \@ "d MMMM yyyy" 30 April 2013
Why the elderly have a higher turn out than the young during elections: An Analysis
Theory and hypothesis
Research question: Why do the elderly vote in higher proportions than the young?
Older citizens in the United States are much more likely to participate in the civic duty of voting than their younger counterparts and therefore giving them much more clout in politics because the elections are decided by those citizens who queue at the polling station to vote.
Background
This claim cannot be any further than the truth as in the November 2010 elections it is estimated that about 61 percent of citizens aged 65 years upwards turned out to take part in the electoral process. This compared to other age groups turns out to be the best turn out of any group in the US. Those aged 55 to 64 had 54% turn out while those below 45 turned out to be less likely to vote. Only 37% of those aged 25 to 44 turned out to cast their ballot in the same polls. It is therefore not a surprise that trend continued to show among the nation`s youngest citizens aged 18 to 24 who only recorded a 21% turn out. So what could be the reasons that lead to the elderly more likely to vote than younger people?
Reasons
One of the main reasons that the elderly have a higher turn out is because they want to protect their Social Security and Medicare according to Skocpol (1292). The federal government provides valuable benefit to this class of citizens and they do have a vested interest in protecting this. Since there are several benefits that go into sustaining the U.S. older citizens as compared to the younger citizens they are more likely to participate in the process compared to the relatively young.
Dowding et al (109-122) assert that the older generation has a less geographic mobility rate compared to the young who are often on the move from one location to another. As per American Law, when a citizen moves from one location to another then they have to re-register to vote in their new location if they won`t go back to the location they initially had registered. For young people, this is a challenge because when they move into the new locations there is a huge likelihood that they will not reregister probably due to loss of interest of forgetfulness. Older people on the contrary are much more likely to retain their vote because they do not move around as much.
Finally, it`s more of a social norm for older citizens to participate in the electoral process. There is a big likelihood that senior citizens are residents of the respective neighborhoods that they reside in and this raises the possibility of them being influenced into voting by the society since it is viewed as the norm as Logan et al. (1003) write. This is unlike younger citizens who may not be ready to conform to the society`s social norm and are more likely to feel alienated by the electoral syst...
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