Where does your state fall in voter turnout rankings? What are turnout trends for different elections and populations? We have links and resources to the best public sources of voter turnout information for U.S. elections, including our America Goes to the Polls series on voter turnout in recent national elections.
America Goes to the Polls 2012: Voter Participation Gaps in the Presidential Election
Voter Participation Gaps in the 2012 Presidential Election is the latest in our America Goes to the Polls series and is based on the recently released biennial Census survey on voting and registration. The report tracks, analyzes, and explains prominent turnout gaps like:
- Age - 45% of youth (ages 18-29) turned out in 2012, down from 51% in 2008.
- Household Income - There was a 15 point turnout gap between members of lower income and higher income households in 2012—the smallest it has been in the last four presidential elections.
- Mobility - There was a 15 point turnout gap between individuals who had resided at their current address for less than a year (61%) and those who had resided at their current address for at least 5 years (76%). This disparity has decreased in recent presidential elections, though it remains around 33% in midterms.
- Ethnicity - Black turnout (66%) exceeded non-Hispanic white turnout (64%) for the first time. Turnout among Latino and Asian-American voters (48% and 47%, respectively) continues to trail white and black turnout by 16 to 19 points.
Voter Turnout Reports for Past Elections
America Goes to the Polls 2012
Nonprofit Voters Increase from 2008
America Goes to the Polls 2010: Voter Participation Gaps
America Goes to the Polls 2010
America Goes to the Polls 2008
America Goes to the Polls 2008: Voter Participation Gaps
America Goes to the Polls 2006
National and State Turnout Data
The U.S. Elections Project at George Mason University, headed by Professor Michael McDonald, is the best source of information for state and national voter turnout dating back to the 1980 presidential election. It features state-by-state turnout statistics, based on official results reported by state elections offices.
The US Census site has estimates of voter turnout and voter registration, based on post-election survey data of midterm and presidential elections. Census survey numbers are broken down by several variables, including state, ethnicity, gender, age, and educational attainment.
ANES's mission is "producing high quality data on voting, public opinion, and political participation to serve the research needs of those who wish to better understand the foundations of national election outcomes." ANES provides biennial studies of voter and election participation including "Political Involvement and Participation in Politics".
States and Counties
You can find a wealth of voter registration and voter turnout data on your state's elections website. Voter registration data is often listed in a separate "Voter Registration" section, while turnout information is generally contained within election results. Keep in mind that states vary in how they calculate their turnout data and the number of people casting certified and counted ballots.
Visit your county or city board of elections for similar voter registration and turnout statistics.
The Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) is the largest source of voter turnout information around the world.
National Election Exit Polls
National Election Exit polls are conducted by Edison Research for national media outlets. As reported by CNN: