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The American Nonvoter$
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Lyn Ragsdale and Jerrold G. Rusk

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190670702

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190670702.001.0001

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Searching the Past

Searching the Past

Chapter:
(p.126) 5 Searching the Past
Source:
The American Nonvoter
Author(s):

Lyn Ragsdale

Jerrold G. Rusk

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190670702.003.0006

Abstract: This chapter begins the historical analysis of American elections across four political periods: the government expansion period (1920–1944), the post-war period (1946–1972), the government reassessment period (1974–1990), and the Internet technology period (1992–2012). In the first period, the Great Depression and the advent of radio notably reduce nonvoting. When the economy stabilizes and most people have radios in their homes, nonvoting increases. The chapter also explores the effect of women’s suffrage on nonvoting and finds that women did not enter the electorate in large numbers in the first elections for which they were eligible to vote. However, by the 1940s, their nonvoting rates are much lower than men’s in presidential elections, although not in midterm elections.

Keywords:   electoral history, women’s suffrage, Roaring 20s, Great Depression, World War II, radio, party competition, regions, nonvoting

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