Monday, August 14, 2006

Turnout: how bad is it in the US --as % of registered voters?

There was a post a while back on the awfulness of US turnout as a proportion of voting age population compared to other countries. I said the situation was about the same if turnout was expressed as proportion of registered voters. I may have exaggerated a little bit. Looks like turnout as a proportion of registered voters in US is just below average, not truly awful. Below are some international comparisons for elections in the 1990s. You be the judge.

I have omitted some elections in some countries where, for one reason or another, the elections or voter registration statistics might not be considered kosher, but that is a subjective judgment. All the statistics can be found at the US Election Assistance Commission:

The average turnout for all the countries other than the US listed at the US Election Assistance Commission page is 70%. The US just beats that for presidential elections at 71%, but the average for off-year Congressional elections is just 60%, for an overall average of 66%. The averages for the countries I selected for the tables above are 75% for both presidential, and parliamentary or legislative elections.

In any case, I think by either measure, as a proportion of population, or of registered voters, turnout in US national elections is a disgrace.

Sorry for the lousy graphics formatting -the MS Office software I use defeated me this time.

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