Since America Goes to the Polls 2014 was released, numerous news articles and editorials have covered a range of the report’s findings. On a national level, a great deal of attention has been given to the fact that 2014 turnout (36.6%) was the lowest its been since World War II (USA Today). But because turnout varied widely across states by as much as 30 percentage points, storylines differ from state to state.
For example, one article lamented that “Indiana struggles to get people to the polls” as it was “dead last in the nation for voter turnout” with just over 28% of eligible voters casting a ballot. In fact, the last time Indiana was in the top 25 for voter turnout nationwide was in 1982.
New York put a positive spin on things by noting “We’re No. 49!” (not last!) before pointing out that 49th place wasn’t a cause for celebration.
Maine touted its place at the top, while Colorado was eager to climb the ranks. Maine once again led the nation in midterm turnout with 58.5% and Colorado was in third at 54.5% (up from 10th place in 2010).
Observers in Oregon seemed to begrudge that it was “still in 5th place”, the same spot as the 2010 midterm. However, with automatic voter registration election officials are hoping to climb the rankings in the future. Tennessee and New Jersey also saw room for improvement.