American voter turnout has long lagged behind that of most countries. A new Pew survey released this month found that among developed countries the United States had higher voter turnout in the last national election than only Japan, Chile, and Switzerland:
This lower voter turnout has consequences – it is a well-established fact that the groups of people that do not vote tend to have more progressive views. Thus lower voter turnout tends to benefit conservative political parties.
In the 2006 film American Blackout, which chronciled voter suppression, then-Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) explained how high turnout was a “nightmare” for the elites who rule America:
SANDERS: The truth of the matter is that the media, large corporations, the people who control politically our country today do not want you to participate. They want a low turnout of primarily upper middle class people, they want big money to dominate the political process. Their nightmare is that young people, lower income people, working people jump into the process. They do not want that.
Watch the clip of him explaining:
In 1991, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he's “not particularly disturbed by lower voter turnout” and said it was healthy if less people participated in the political process. Sufficit to say, McConnell represents the elites that Sanders describes above.