By: Senam Quartey
In the United States the public has so much access to all the information in the world. We have resources like television and internet. With social media you can’t miss a thing about an event that’s going on anywhere in the world. Yet, so many Americans are misinformed or unknowing about their local and federal government. It might be an effect of little noticeable change in the lives of American citizens that cause us to be so oblivious about and ignore our elected officials. Or, rather, the fact that a small percentage of Americans take the time to look up the people they put on the ballot.
In the past midterm elections, the voter turnout was one of the higher ones in our recent history. The numbers for this statistic were slowing on a steady decline with less citizens registering to vote and less even bothering to find out where their designated voter poll is. I objectively believe that this is the direct product of public distrust in their vote being counted by their secretary of state. In Georgia we had controversy in our midterm elections because some of our voting polls were shut down. Closed in minority areas too. This is discouraging for minorities in this country because the right to vote was such a struggle and only just allowed to every American citizen less than a hundred years ago.
The most people see about politics is President Trump making some outlandish comment on CNN, which is entertaining but yet unattractive to the average American voter. Let alone the fact that we had a secretary of state in a major controversy about emails. Both Republican and Democrat political parties have their own little scandals and this raises distrust in the minds of Americans. Even if we wanted to find an alternative third party like a Libertarian, not enough voters would be informed enough about it to go vote.
Speaking very plainly, I feel that the reason that the state of our American politics is in such a low and non-progressive place stems from public mistrust. We do not trust our elected officials to run this country anymore. We don’t even know who our elected officials are because we don’t vote for them. Statistics show that if you ask people who their two senate representatives are, a good 75% of them won’t know either of them. A shame to say, but it’s true, and in sadly doesn’t show any signs of getting better.