Opinion Columns & Blogs

That’s a lot of Kansans who aren’t voting

“The number of Kansans not voting would fill Kauffman Stadium over 18 times.” That’s the headline on the latest issue of The Journal, a quarterly publication of the Kansas Leadership Center. All total, there are about 700,000 Kansans who could be eligible to vote but won’t. And that’s what is expected in a presidential election year, when turnout is higher. In the 2014 election, the number of nonvoters in Kansas exceeded the number of voters by an estimated 69,000, The Journal reported. So why do many people not vote? The Journal cited a 2012 study by Northwestern University that found many nonvoters are pessimistic about politics or feel too busy or too overwhelmed by economic concerns to invest time in voting. Age also is an issue. About 38 percent of young adults vote in Kansas, compared with about 70 percent of those age 30 and older. – Phillip Brownlee