Voter turnout, the percentage of registered voters who casted their ballots in an election, is a barometer to measure the extent of civic engagement in American democracy. Due to the winner-take-it-all electoral college system, voters in a deep blue-or red state have tended to be less incentivized to vote. History however attests that a single vote has determined a number of key election results as early as in 1800 — when Thomas Jefferson won the presidential election by one vote.
A political melee on whether to prioritize efforts to increase voter turnout has yet persisted in Congress with only two legislations designed to promote voting passed as law since 2000. Federal lawmakers in 2002 agreed to streamline the administrative process in voting systems to grant easy access for people to vote. Then in 2006, another law was passed to extend the duration of protection for marginalized voters. Since then, dozens of legislations intended to foster voter turnout have been filed and have all been stalled at the introduction stage.
Despite lagging legislative efforts in passing voting laws, the voter turnout rate in a quadrennial presidential election has steadily increased, with more than two-third of registered voters casting ballots in the 2020 election, an over 10% increase from that of 2000. Meanwhile, a Gallup poll says almost three-quarter of Americans showed “quite a lot” of thought about the election in 2020, an about 20% increase from 2000.
Learn for yourself how states compare to one another in terms of voter turnout rate by surveying the data in the charts.
|#||State||Voter Turnout||Registered Voters||Percentage of Registered Voters||Red or Blue State|
|1||District of Columbia||77.8%||464,000||80.5%||Democrat|
|41||North Carolina||58.9%||5,161,000||63.6%||Swing State|