Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Donna Hoffman


For decades people have been puzzled by the sudden drop in voter turnout that occurred in the 1970's and continued through the 1980's and 1990's. The demographics of those voting and not voting have been analyzed repeatedly for some clue as to why people were not turning out in the same numbers. Repeatedly, different factors have been addressed as contributors to the reduction of voter turnout. Studies have found that the United States has a unique factor contributing to the low voter turnout. Even after controlling for socioeconomic and institutional factors, there is something about the United States that has created decreased voter turnout. This conclusion is reinforced by other studies that have found American turnout is linked to factors outside of institutional and demographic influences but that there is another factor that is not being addressed (Powell 1986). Powell conducted research in which he compared the United States with other countries and isolated the types of factors that can affect voter turnout and found that political attitudes was one of those factors.

Year of Submission



Department of Political Science

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (38 pages)