Elections and Voter Turnout Worksheet
Answer each question below in 50 to 75 words.
1. Who were the candidates for governor in your state (or state of choice) during the last election? Identify their political party affiliation. Who won the election?
The gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election in Massachusetts took place on 4 November 2014. The incumbent governor (Deval Patrick) was eligible for re-election, but he chose not to run for another term.Charlie Baker ran for the governor’s seat with Karyn Polito as Republicans and won the concurrent four year terms in office on Beacon Hill. Attorney General Martha Coakley ran for the Democrats with Steve Kerrigan as her potential Lt. Governor. Three sets of Independents ran for the seat with mixed results at the polls: Evan Falchuk/Angus Jennings, Jeffrey ...view middle of the document...
3. What was the state voter turnout in this election?
The voter turnout statewide was reported to be around 49% which was lower than the 2012 Presidential Election turnout. Boston residents participated at a higher rate of about 84% of the 383,702 registered voters. Voter participation was high in the Boston area because both candidates were well known and their separate parties spent a lot of time and money on getting people interested in voting for them. Statewide the voters were more interested in the ballot questions about the adjustment of the gas tax, expansion of the bottle bill, gambling, and coverage of employee sick time because these issues hit them all in the wallet.
4. What are three ways to improve voter turnout in the future?
In the future, the state should entice people to vote by changing the day from a work day (Tuesday) to a weekend day (Saturday) to give everyone more time to get to the polls. Or employers could be encouraged to allow their workers to go to the polls (if near the workplace) with paid time off to do so. If you want to get the whole state more interested in the gubernatorial elections, then you have to have strong candidates running that embody all of the state and not just inside of Rte 128.
5. What are three ways that citizens can get involved in politics in your state (or state of choice)?
Citizens would be more apt to show up at the polls if election day was a national holiday and elections were held across the country on the same day(s). When I was in grade school, I remember participating in the 1968 and 1972 mock elections for President which gave us all a taste for how to vote and why it was so important to have our voice heard through our votes. Incentives to get voters to turnout could also be used such as free food at the polling location or coupons for free things like the Red Cross does to get blood donors to show up.