The United States has been notoriously known to have one of the lowest voter turnouts of any developed nation in the world.
In fact, according to voting data collected by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance from elections as of August 2022, the U.S. ranked 9th, with only a 62% average voter turnout, trailing just behind Spain at 65%. Belgium took the top spot with a 78% voter turnout.
Also, midterm elections – like the one this year – tend to have lower numbers of people at the polls in comparison to presidential elections, according to the U.S. Elections Project. About 67% of the voting-eligible population casts their ballot during presidential election years while only about 50% voted during the last midterm election.
The estimated number of people who are eligible to vote based on their age was about 329.9 million as of 2020. Only 158.38 million showed up to vote that year.
With key issues such as abortion, gun reform, inflation, legalizing marijuana, climate change and the war in Ukraine festering in the minds of voters, some experts suggest that 2022 could see another surge at the polls, even without a presidential election to decide.
So which states really turn out during elections and which states fall by the wayside?
States with the highest voter turnout in 2020
- Minnesota: 80%
- Colorado: 76.4%
- Maine: 76.3%
- Wisconsin: 75.8%
- Washington: 75.7%
- Oregon & New Hampshire: 75.5% (tie)
- Michigan: 73.9%
- Iowa: 73.2%
- Montana: 73.1%
- Virginia: 73%
States with the lowest voter turnout in 2020
- Oklahoma: 55%
- Arkansas: 56.1%
- Hawaii: 57.5%
- West Virginia: 57.6%
- Tennessee: 59.8%
- Mississippi: 60.2%
- Texas: 60.4%
- New Mexico: 61.3%
- New York: 63.6%
- Alabama: 63.1%
Source: The U.S. Elections Project
- State by state: Abortion laws across the U.S.
- Gun laws across the U.S.
- Marijuana laws by state in 2022
This story was reported from Los Angeles.