The Burdened Path of Voting
Americans live in a more unequal economic society today than they did in the 1970’s. We’ve heard it time and time again, but we are today a country in which fewer people have a greater proportion of the wealth. For this reason alone, documenting that voters are significantly wealthier than nonvoters and voters are not representative of nonvoters on redistributive issues is critical information for evaluating the nature of electoral democracy in the United States. This is a big deal!
The overrepresentation of the wealthy in voting or other forms of political participation is often understood to reflect that wealthy individuals also tend to have other resources (e.g., education, political interest, or stronger social and political networks) that make it easier for them to vote, or more likely to be targets of candidate and campaign mobilization efforts.

Election law reforms intended to make voting easier, reforms that have often disappointed their supporters. One observation about some of these reforms is that making it easier to vote simply makes it easier to vote for those already inclined to do so, and thus widens the turnout gap between rich and poor, or the more educated and less educated.
The relationships among income, education, and voter turnout are quite strong: the probability of a highly educated or wealthy individual casting a ballot is much, much higher than the probability of a less-educated or poorer individual casting a ballot. This is primarily because those who are poor have less time to devote to political matters as they are managing everyday survival instead.