One of the best classes I took as part of my graduate program was a class on political communications. This was in the early 90s so communications at that time was focused on the traditional media – print, broadcast and an occasional phone call or two. It was also a time when candidates focused on what they would do in office, on their views on certain issues and why they wanted our vote. The concept of “negative advertising” had not quite made it to the surface.
But even then, my professor was talking about voter fatigue. Voter fatigue is what we experience when we are overwhelmed with so many messages that we tune them out, disengage from the process and in some cases, may choose not to vote at all.
And today’s election cycle has hastened the concept of voter fatigue tenfold.
The time between a primary and the election is now filled with so much information coming at you that it is almost impossible to weed through it all. From the multiple promotional flyers from candidates and PACs, the consistent barrage of radio and television spots, coupled with the constant robo-calls, pop-ups on social media and through apps, you can’t get away from it.
I really wonder how effective all of it is. Sure, you want to get your name in front of the electorate and you want your views front and center when we’re making our decisions where to cast our vote. But at what point does this just become white noise and clutter and no longer have the impact you desire.
I’d venture to guess we’ve hit that point.
My name is Abbie Fink and I approve this message.