What Can Be Done to Increase Political Efficacy in Society?

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Every two to five years, there is a lot of discussion about improving voter turnout and involvement in the United States. During this time, many important facts reappear, including America's alliances with organizations that show concern for the country's interests. Political parties, religious organizations, and community-based organizations are among the organizations represented. These organizations' trust in the government is poor, which has a detrimental impact on voter turnout. People of color and the impoverished are excluded from political processes. The big challenge is how people may participate in their respective communities and political processes in ways that encourage future participation.  “Community, education, and income all have an effect on the opinions about democratic principles” (Shazrift & Weinberg, 370). Throughout the established democracies in all parts of the worked, confidence in the government is broadly declining. Citizens of various states are cynical about the institutions that represent them, their political parties, and, most importantly, their politicians. “It demands institutions to empower citizens rather than simply serving them” (Shazrift & Weinberg, 374) Confidence or trusts in these organizations are low; almost half of the public distrusts the institutions.

In the latest United States presidential election, it is estimated that only 54 percent of the total voters cast third votes. The voter turnout of U.S lags almost all the developed nations with democratic forms of government. According to recent research, United States is ranked the 31st among the 35 countries in the group of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in the matters of national elections and voter turnout. The fact that half of the total eligible voters chose not to vote during the national elections reflects that the voter turnout was lower compared to other election periods. The low voter turnout is a source of embarrassments to many Americans.

“A good democratic system protects the public against the demand to do impossible things” (Shafritz & Weinberg, 178). Disaffection is reflected to be serious problem outside the democratic governments. The disaffection can occur in various ways; one being the level of distrust and alienation are much higher in some countries. For example, satisfaction with the working of democracy in Latin America is averagely 37 percent in the year 2000. The percentage is slightly lower compared to the other European Union countries that are about 53 percent. In the trilateral democracies trust in the parliament was averaged about 43% during the 1990s and fell below 40 percent in EU. Secondly, the results of disaffection are much more severe in countries where there is no firm consolidation of the democracies. In countries where election and the voting process do not warrant legitimacy of democracy, disaffection and dissatisfaction with the election and voting process are likely to obstruct accumulation of legitimacy to consequentially cause rising preferences.

Series of articles have been released aiming to initiate conversation whether the social sector can make the differences in improving the election process and voter turnout. According to the previous studies, about thirteen experts and their commenters shared their views on the benefit of sharing the election cycle.

After the low voter turnout in the United States, the current turnout for the primaries contributed to thirty percent and that recorded the second highest level since the 1980s. Several factors have been critical playing both, positive and negative roles. With the most important factors being out of the reformist’s control, the level of competitions in particular campaigns inspired by political candidates matters a lot (Shafritz & Weinberg, 180). While the factors present difficulty for influence by the social sector, other levers remain to impact the traditional voting interventions. It, therefore, makes the themes to stand out and, thus, a mix of strategies is needed for incremental effects in the voter turnout. The factors will focus on improving the representativeness of the electorate and the knowledge regarding policies at stake.

The Mix of Strategies

A range of structural events can contribute to relatively modest percentage by single digits. The act of making voter registration easier and portable can boost the turnout more than 2%. Similarly, authorizing the voters to register at their polling stations increases the voter turnout by more than 2 percent. The most challenging intervention to achieve would be facilitating transitioning to a multi-party system with the allocation of the representatives proportionally during the electoral process (Shafritz & Weinberg, 221). The countries that have produced the high voter turnout could play the role of encouraging a greater engagement in the political process. The encouragement provided by the states is likely to contribute to voter turnout between 9 and 12 percent, that can be difficult to achieve using other methods that are more sceptical. The intervention to improve the voter turnout can target to reduce barriers to voting, and this can be done through granting early voting and stringent balloting procedure for the absentees. The factor, like lowering direct costs of voting, has little to do with improving the voter turnout.

The other approach would be to mobilize efforts that do not require legal or structural changes. The government needs a proper understanding of how various groups are motivated to participate or not in the election process and suggests measures depending on the audience. “Government is a reflection and claims of activities of such groups” (Shazrift & Weinberg, 222). The process of voter mobilization should focus on three various factors as they influence the voting behavior that include impact, convenience, or community. Much of the variation in voter turnout is attributed to the differences in the community and culture values. It is, therefore, important to examine the differences between subgroups to understand the segmentation of voters for proper identification of multiple barriers and disincentives that are faced by different groups. The key messages present some challenges to significantly increase the turnout.


“The American people have tried to encourage the attention to the extrapolicy aspects of representation, not as alternatives to the policy aspects” (Shafritz & Weinberg, 265). Improving the representation in the electorate and understanding the aspects of the policies create important target than radically increasing the turnout. Philanthropy does not play a major role in increasing the voter turnout compared to the effects of the party and the individuals. With the prohibition from the constitution, nonpartisan philanthropies are prohibited from seeking to increase civic engagement regardless of the outcomes of elections (Shafritz & Weinberg, 256). Several contributors in the field of research have established that the social sector can potentially play important role in non-incentivized areas. Political parties and other interested groups, at times invariable, give focus to the voters whom they are going to turn out. The action by the parties and the interests groups leaves a lot of ground uncovered. Philanthropists, therefore, make distinctive impacts through informing both, the voters and non-voters, on the way of improving the policy issues and electorate representativeness.

Narrowing the gaps between the blacks and the whites since 2008 has improved the election process and voter outcome during the presidential elections since the voter turnout of the white Americans is always 20 percent higher than the combination of Hispanics and Asians. The best way of increasing the turnout is through continuous improvement of the voter representativeness which can be achieved through increasing the availability of information to the citizens. The structural reforms specifically to make the voting process easier have the potential of magnifying the economic biases in the electorate composition.

Primary Elections Importance

Most of the democratic countries rely on political leaders to make candidate list. Primary elections play an important role in the election of American leaders. Through Democratic or Republican, it is the voters who fully participate in primary elections in the district where the actual general elections do not matter.

“In the modern era of political ‘spin doctors’ who work to manipulate public perceptions of political candidates and other political candidates and political events it is easy to think that such a chicanery is of recent origin” (Shazrift & Weinberg, 164)

Through the primary election campaigns, voters get to understand and know all the political candidates. After the national conventions, voters get to hear more about the candidates. Already, several states are on their way up to opening up their democratic process through allowing the participation of independent voters. The changes give an advantage to candidates with substantial support voters outside the traditional leaning block. With increased openness and insider influence, Democratic Party might grow to be internally democratic in the future compared to any other time.


There is a lot we don’t yet understand about the ways of facilitating smooth election process and increasing voter turnout since voter participation is so challenging in the United States. All that is understood is that strengthening the organization and parties involved in the election process needs to form the part of the meaningful effort of improving electoral process and voter turnout.

Work Сited

Shafritz M. Jay & Weinberg S. Lee. Classics in American Government.

2006. Thomson/Wadsworth.

May 02, 2023

Government Life


Elections Politics Hobby

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