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Why 60% of eligible voters may skip the midterm elections

Posted at 5:08 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 18:08:18-05

APPLETON, Wis. — The 2022 midterm elections are just days away and despite the concentrated dose of news and political ads as of late, less than half of eligible voters in the U.S. will cast a ballot.

"I don't see the sense of voting anymore because what for, what difference does it make?" says Daniel Braatz of Appleton.

"I don't really know much about the candidates, I don't really care to know much about the candidates," Spencer Millay says as he walks across the Lawerence University campus in Appleton.

Exercising your right not to vote is common practice in the U.S.

The handful of non-voters NBC 26 surveyed in Appleton is in the majority.

"I don't know the whole process, I'm not familiar with it," adds Elden Santana.

"Typically we see about 60% of people don't vote at midterm elections so that's a 40 % turnout rate," says Arnold Schober, Professor of Government at Lawerence University.

That's 60% of the American population who is eligible but does not cast their vote.

"That's bad at the Congressional level so that's typically what we're electing but at the local level, it's even worse. Upwords of 80% of people don't participate in local races as well," Schober adds.

Those who elect our city's mayors, alderpersons, and other local officials, are made up of a small minority of eligible voters.

"Those positions do affect us on a day-to-day basis much more than people in D.C., right? We don't pay attention to them," Schober says.

60% of the eligible voting population is a powerful voting group in the U.S. So, why are they staying silent?

"I don't feel like I completely make a difference anyway. My one vote seemingly doesn't feel like it counts," says Spencer Millay.

"I only hear about the midterm elections through like advertisements on TV and YOUTUBE and things like that so I haven't really been paying much attention to it," adds Elden Santana.

"To make change, you have to get people together to make change but you can't get two people to stand next to each other nowadays because they're so divided," says Daniel Braatz of Appleton.

Government experts say doing a better job of highlighting issues that matter to local voters and making it easier to vote could bring more people to the polls, especially in a year where so much is a steak.

For Wisconsin, two high-profile, neck-and-neck races may be a reason why our voter turnout this year could come out in record numbers for a midterm election.

"This race in Wisconsin should more attention simply because those candidates have been very visible over the last 12 years in Johnson's case 4 years in Evers' case and people have opinions about them," adds

If you think you're vote doesn't make a difference, consider this piece of election history;

In 2000, Al Gore narrowly lost the electoral college vote to George W. Bush. It all came down to just 537 votes in Florida.

Had 500 more votes been cast in Gore's favor in Florida, there may have been a different U.S. President from 2000-2004.