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How U.S. Voter Turnout Measures Up

The U.S. midterms have always generated a weaker voter Turnout than the country’s presidential elections. Historically, around 40 percent of eligible voters headed to the ballot box in the midterms compared to between 50 and 60 percent for the presidential elections. This year could set a record for turnout, judging by a flood of early votes. There have been 35 million so far, eclipsing 2014’s 20 million ahead of the midterms that year

Despite the positive trend this time around, it is still far behind the 2016 presidential election which saw more than 46 million votes counted ahead of election day. Turnout today is also likely to be far lower than in major national elections in other developed countries. When turnout is measured as a share of the voting-age population, it was just 55.7 percent in the 2016 presidential election, according to Pew Research.

That is far behind Belgium which had a high turnout of 87.2 percent in its most recent election in 2014. However, it must be pointed out that the country has a system of compulsory voting, consistently resulting in high turnout figures. Many countries without such a system also experience high voting volumes with Sweden a notable example with 82.6 percent in 2014. South Korea also had an impressive turnout of 77.9 percent last year.

You will find more infographics at Statista

U.S. Voter Turnout Up

YearCountryTurnout Rate
2017South Korea77.9%
2017New Zealand75.7%
2017United Kingdom 63.2%
2016United States 55.7%
2016Switzerland 38.6%
Data By: Statista

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How U.S. Voter Turnout Measures Up


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