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Why Americans Still Don't Vote

Program #PIVF004. Recorded in New York, NY on February 13, 2001.

Election 2000 was the most contentious and controversial in over a century. The infamous butterfly ballots and dangling chads are now part of folklore. Yet beyond those things, deeper and troubling questions about the nature of American democracy arise. Voter turnout is appallingly low. Less than half the population votes for President and under 40% for congressional races. Primaries? Don't even ask. Is low turnout all due to apathy? That's unlikely. Few countries have as many obstacles for citizens to get to the ballot box as the U.S. It seems rather obvious, but why, for example, is Election Day on Tuesday, a work day?


Frances Fox Piven

Frances Fox Piven is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the City University of New York and an internationally renowned authority on poverty and politics. She was a founder of the welfare rights movement and is involved in the Campaign for Media Fairness on Welfare. She's the co-author with Richard Cloward of Regulating the Poor, The New Class War, Why Americans Don't Vote, The Breaking of the American Social Compact and Why Americans Still Don't Vote.

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