Voter Turnout 101

Voter turnout in the United States fluctuates in national elections. In recent decades, about 60% of the voting eligible population votes during presidential election years, and about 40% votes during midterm elections. Turnout is lower for odd year, primary and local elections. 2020 had the highest turnout in over a century, and 2018 had the highest midterm turnout in over a century. Turnout 1789-2020noborder:none;allowfullscreen5507770

Voter turnout also varies considerably from state to state. In 2020 and 2016, Minnesota, Colorado, Maine, and New Hampshire were among the highest-turnout states. Turnout Rates 2012-2020noborder:none;allowfullscreen55029110


By international standards, voter turnout in the U.S. is low. In countries with compulsory voting, like Australia, Belgium, and Chile, voter turnout hovered near 90% in the 2000s. Other countries, like Austria, Sweden, and Italy, experienced turnout rates near 80%. Overall, OECD countries experience turnout rates of about 70%. 

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