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Voter turnout rates presented here show that the much-lamented decline in voter participation is an artifact of poor measurement. Previously, turnout rates were calculated by dividing the number of votes by what is called the "voting-age population" which consists of everyone age 18 and older residing in the United States (the yellow line to the right). This includes persons ineligible to vote, mainly non-citizens and ineligible felons, and excludes overseas eligible voters. When turnout rates are calculated for those eligible to vote, a new picture of turnout emerges, which exhibits no decline since 1972 (the green line to the right). Indeed, turnout rates appear to have been restored to their earlier high levels as of 2008.
My analysis of voting in the 2012 election is available at Huffington Post's Pollster section, where you can find my other election-related blogging.
I provide national and state turnout rates for the eligible population from 1980-2012. You can access 2000-2012 elections on the web pages below. These numbers are updated continually as new data become available.
You can also access a Google Doc spreadsheet for the full general election series from 1980-2012.
I provide early voting statistics for the 2012 election, tracked in near real-time. Previous statistics for 2010 and 2008 elections are also available.
I track a number of other issues, such as early voting and voter registration, on my elections blog. I also blog for Pollster on The Huffington Post.
See here for a listing of voter turnout related peer-reviewed academic journal articles, signficant reports, opinion-editorials, and media coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
I answer many questions about the statistics provded here. Before contacting me, please read my FAQ. Please read here first before e-mailing me, as I may have already answered your question.