[Vision2020] Voter Turnout by State

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Fri Feb 5 08:35:52 PST 2016

**Voter Turnout by State*


Just 71% of voting-age U.S. citizens are registered to vote, and an even 
smaller share actually makes it to the voting booth on election day. In 
the 2012 presidential election, 61.8% of eligible U.S. residents went to 
the polls. The nation’s voter turnout rate trails rates in most 
developed nations where voter turnout rates tend to be at least 80%.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed average voter turnout rates over the past four 
presidential election cycles in every state in the nation. Voter 
participation ranged from approximately three-quarters of eligible 
Minnesota residents, the highest nationwide, to half of potential voters 
in Hawaii, the lowest voter turnout rate in the country.

According to Elaine Kamarck, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, 
there are two primary predictors of voter turnout. First, the more 
competitive a particular political contest is, the greater the turnout 
tends to be. “[If] everybody thinks their vote matters, you get a higher 
turnout,” Kamarck said. This explains why voter turnout is lower in 
elections in which candidates run unopposed, as well as why voter 
turnout rates during primary elections fall over time as candidates 
generate momentum and it becomes clear who the nominee will ultimately be.

*37. Idaho
 > Voter turnout:* 61.1%
*> 2012 winning candidate’s party:* Republican
*> Avg. weekly wage:* $732
*> Unemployment rate: *4.8%

Idaho’s voter turnout rate over the past four presidential elections has 
been, on average, lower than that of the nation. In the 2012 
presidential elections, however, a higher share of the state electorate 
actually went to the polls, at 63.9% of eligible Idaho residents 
compared to 61.8% of eligible Americans. Those with an advanced 
education are more likely to participate in the democratic process. In 
2012, more than 77% of Americans with a college degree voted. This may 
partially explain the state’s below average voter turnout. In Idaho, 
just 25% of the adult population has a college degree, more than 5 
percentage points below the national share.


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