A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Voting Turnout For 2012 Election

(Image is from the ECHR Blog.)

The news media has been reporting that voting turnout in 2012 was down, and sort of giving the impression that it was very low. But while it was down from what it was in the 2008 and 2004 elections, it tied 1992 for the third best turnout since 1972 meaning only two elections in the last 40 years had a better turnout.

The turnout in 2008 was the largest in the last 40 years, coming in at 62%. That just barely beat out the 2004 election which had a turnout of 61%. The third place election years, 1992 and 2012, had a turnout of 59%. And rounding out the top five was 1984 with 57%. While I would like all of those years to have had a higher voter turnout, considering the turnout average over the last 11 elections (56.9%), it's not really that bad.

Some states had an excellent turnout, while the turnout for others was rather pitiful. According to a study by Nonprofit VOTE, there were two factors that contributed to a high turnout. States that were either a "swing state" or had same-day voter registration, performed much better than other states regarding turnout.

Here are the 10 states with the best turnout:
1. Minnesota...............76.1%
2. Wisconsin...............73.2%
3. Colorado...............71.1%
4. New Hampshire...............70.9%
5. Iowa...............70.2%
6. Maine...............69.2%
7. Virginia...............66.9%
8. Maryland...............66.8%
9. Massachusetts...............66.6%
10. Michigan...............65.3%

And here are the 10 states with the worst turnout:
1. Hawaii...............44.5%
2. West Virginia...............46.8%
3. Oklahoma...............49.6%
4. Texas...............50.1%
5. Arkansas...............51.0%
6. Tennessee...............52.6%
7. Arizona...............53.3%
8. New York...............53.6%
9. New Mexico...............54.9%
10. Kentucky...............55.9%

Being from Texas, I can only see one bright spot about my state's poor turnout. While the state did vote very red in the 2012 election, only half of all registered voters actually went to the polls. If the National Democratic Party sinks in the money and does the work it is saying it will do, it could be interesting if they can get more voters to the polls in the future (especially if they can register a bunch of new voters).

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