Voter fatigue


Voter fatigue

In politics, voter fatigue is the apathy that the electorate can experience when they are required to vote too often.

It is often used as a criticism of the direct democracy system, in which voters are constantly asked to decide on policy via referendums. However, proponents often counter that voter fatigue may be lessened by direct democracy as voters will feel their vote has more effect.

Voter fatigue can cause notoriously low voter turnout rates, and potentially more protest vote, and supposedly occurs for a variety of reasons:

*voters are not interested in the issue.
*voters are bothered by the inconvenience of physically voting.
*voters feel their vote will not count / the election has "already been won" by one side.
*voters feel that it is not worth their while to educate themselves as to the issues and hence their vote would not be worth making. This is related to the concept of rational ignorance.
*voters have to vote for more institutions than before. For example in the UK voters once only had to vote for National and Local elections but now there are elections for the EU parliament, and additional local government elections, directly elected mayors, Scottish and Welsh parliament elections, and the referendums which established these institutions.

It can also happen when voters don't see politicians as able to resolve their problems. An obvious case is the one of Belgium, where 10% of the eligible voters prefer to be fined rather than going in the polling stations, since the vote is compulsory in Belgium.

Amongst the methods that can be used to combat voter fatigue are:

*Making it mandatory to vote, as in the Australian electoral system and in Belgium (Elections in Belgium) and Brazil.
*Using sortition to choose those eligible to vote (thus increasing the worth of a single vote).


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fatigue — may refer to:*Fatigue (medical) tiredness in humans **Chronic fatigue syndrome an illness of the central nervous system *Fatigue (material) failure by repeated stress in materials *Battledress military uniform, also known as fatigues (BDU or ACU) …   Wikipedia

  • Voter turnout — Voters lining up outside a Baghdad polling station during the 2005 Iraqi election. Voter turnout was considered high despite widespread concerns of violence …   Wikipedia

  • voter — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ eligible, registered ▪ Only a quarter of registered voters actually voted in the election. ▪ absentee (AmE) ▪ overseas ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • Donor fatigue — is a phenomenon in which people no longer give to charities, although they have in the past.[1] On a larger scale, it can also refer to a slowness to act on the part of the international community or any other donor base in response to a… …   Wikipedia

  • Spoilt vote — Part of the Politics series Voting …   Wikipedia

  • Voting — Vote redirects here. For the Finno Ugric people, see Votes …   Wikipedia

  • Paradox of voting — This article is about the contention that an individual s vote will probably not affect the outcome. For the arguably irrational results that can arise in a collective choice among three or more alternatives, see Voting paradox. Part of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Two-round system — The two round system (also known as the second ballot or runoff voting) is a voting system used to elect a single winner. Under runoff voting, the voter simply casts a single vote for their favourite candidate. However, if no candidate receives… …   Wikipedia

  • None of the above — For other uses, see None of the above (disambiguation). Part of the Politics series …   Wikipedia

  • List of politics topics — NOTOC TopicTOC Politics This is a list of political topics, including political science terms, political philosophies, political issues, etc. Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions. Although the term is generally applied …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.