Current estimates say that 46.9 percent of eligible voters did not vote in the 2016general election—nearly half of all eligible American voters. Many experts blame a disillusionment with government and a general misunderstanding of how the process works for lackluster turnout year after year.
In 2011, the results from a civics-focused National Assessment of Educational Progress exam revealed that less than half of American eighth graders “knew the purpose of the Bill of Rights on the most recent national civics examination, and only one in 10 demonstrated acceptable knowledge of the checks and balances among the legislative, executive and judicial branches,”
The decline of civics education in schools began in the 1950s and accelerated in the 2000s as schools emphasized courses with more bearing on testing under No Child Left Behind.
Resulting in what Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner labeled the “quite crisis in education. “The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned anew by each generation of citizens,” said O’Connor.