Nonprofit VOTE is pleased to release America Goes to the Polls 2014, the latest edition in our series of biennial reports on voter turnout. America Goes to the Polls 2014 uses official election data to rank voter turnout in the 50 states and looks at major factors underlying voter participation in this historically low turnout election.
Just 36.6% of eligible citizens voted, the lowest turnout in a midterm since World War II. However, turnout varied widely across states by as much as 30 percentage points.
- Maine led the nation in turnout among eligible voters (58.5%), followed by Wisconsin and Colorado.
- States with Election Day Registration (EDR) had the highest voter participation rates. Seven of the top 10 turnout states used EDR while none of the bottom 10 turnout states offered it.
- Competition was a major contributor to voter turnout. Voter turnout averaged 11 points higher in the 22 states with competitive statewide races for U.S. Senate or governor.
In addition to reporting on turnout, the report includes recommendations for policy changes to improve the registration process and foster greater voter participation, such as pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds, implementing best practices in early voting, allowing ex-offenders to regain their voting rights, and using nonpartisan redistricting commissions to oversee decennial redistricting.
Read the full report for additional information on 2014 turnout and historic trends.