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California Voter Participation Survey

Cross-Tabulation Summary Report


Research on nonvoters and infrequent voters shows that both groups believe that voting is important, but also reveals barriers to actually voting.

Asked generally what prevented them from voting or registering, voters cite lack of time. When this is further explored, a greater diversity of barriers and motivations emerges, revealing differences according to ethnicity.

African American respondents demonstrate greater distrust and skepticism of the voting system. They are more likely to cite distrust of election information as a barrier to voting, are less likely to believe that votes make a difference, and that their vote would be counted accurately.

Asian Pacific Islander (API) respondents reported less presence of a pro-voting culture. They are the least likely to have family and friends who vote, most likely to have friends that hardly ever talk about politics, and least likely to have grown up in a household where political issues were discussed. Perhaps as a result of not having as many friends who vote, API respondents are the most likely to cite problems obtaining, sifting through, and understanding election information.

Latino respondents are most likely to cite being busy as their greatest barrier to voting, and when asked what the time barrier is, are most likely to report that long job hours are the greatest barrier.

Specific findings include:

Right Direction Versus Wrong Track

Importance of Voting

Most Important Reasons for Not Voting and Not Registering

Barriers in the Voting Process

Voting Attitudes and Experiences

Most Important Reason to Vote

Reasons People Don’t Vote

The Time Barrier

The Information Barrier

Registering to Vote

Election Day Holiday

Election Information Sources

Current Events Information Sources



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This page was first published on April 7, 2005 | Last updated on January 27, 2006
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