Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Mahato, Kalika. Does My Vote Count? Analyzing the Motivations of American Voters and the Obstacles They Face. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. May 2019.


Copyright Kalika Mahato 2019.


One of the most indispensable rights Americans are promised is the opportunity to vote at the polls. After the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements, all American citizens above 18 and who haven’t committed a felony have the right to vote. The election process in America is viewed by many as egalitarian. However, upon a rudimentary examination into the election process, it becomes clear that this equality that America promotes is consistently at battle with classism and hierarchy. Every election, thousands of eligible voters do not vote because of inadequate information and support, barriers in the process, and other forms of suppression. In 2013, the Supreme Court overturned Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which stated that areas with a history discriminatory voting laws had to receive federal clearance before making new voting laws. As a result, it became easier for states enact laws that affect the ability of Americans to exercise their right. This thesis examines barriers Americans face in voting and factors affecting voter turnout and motivation. Additionally, factors affecting turnout amongst college students and voting amongst undergraduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are examined.