Episode 171: Motivating New Englanders To Vote, Or Not

(Chion Wolf/Connecticut Public Radio)

A year ahead of the 2020 election, NEXT looks at what motivates people to vote –whether they participate or not. Plus, we’ll talk about why New England voters aren’t that unique anymore and break down the costs of Medicare for All for four families.  

Dirty Politics And Gridlock Among Reasons To Not Vote

(Chion Wolf/Connecticut Public Radio)

During presidential election years, a majority of Americans vote. According to the United States Elections Project, about 60 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in 2016 election. In New England, percentages vary by state with Maine and New Hampshire at the high end — just above 70 percent casting their ballot — and Rhode Island at the low end, matching the national average. But what about that 30-40 percent who don’t vote? In 2018, the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston polled unlikely voters. We learn more about these people and what motivates them.

What Medicare For All Might Mean For Four Households

Carlos and Kate Rodriquez are both 28, healthy and live in Boston, Massachusetts. Their healthcare expenses this are expected to be $22,875.  (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

“Medicare for All” is getting a lot of attention in the 2020 presidential race, especially from two New England candidates, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. But there’s very little information about what these plans would mean for you and your neighbors. We look at individual costs. 

Forty Percent Of Vermonters Can’t Cover A Surprise Expense

From left: Pat Ducharme, children Zachary, Bryce and Lilyana, and Nicole Forgan on the couch in their living room. (Elodie Reed/VPR)

Lots of things can push people to vote, a candidate, a political party, an issue. Perhaps a more subtle influencer is quality of life. Vermont Public Radio and Vermont Public Television recently surveyed about 800 residents of the Green Mountain State asking a wide range of questions about the challenges and promises of rural life in the state.

Among its findings, forty percent of respondents said they would not be able to afford an unplanned expense of $1,000. Meet two families who face precarious financial situations.

Also on the show this week:

About NEXT

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host: John Dankosky
Producer: Morgan Springer
Digital Producer: Carlos Mejia
Senior Director: Catie Talarski
Contributors to this episode: Martha Bebinger, Liam Elder-Connors, James Pindell and Josh Rogers
Music: Todd Merrell and “New England” by Goodnight Blue Moon

New to NEXT? You can find every episode or one you missed within our archives

We need your feedback! Send critiques, suggestions, questions, and ideas to next@ctpublic.org. Help us spread the word! If you like what you hear, rate and review us on iTunes.

Follow us on Twitter