Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Parts of U.S. far less likely to vote; map shows local data

Washington Post map; click on the image to view a larger version.
Only 60 percent of U.S. adult citizens voted in the 2016 election, a turnout that ranks in the bottom third of all developed countries. Though turnout was higher in many areas, it was far lower than average in almost 1,000 U.S. counties. Many of the low-turnout counties are in Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta, and the Southwest, Ted Mellnik, Lauren Tierney and Kevin Uhrmacher report for The Washington Post.

Education level is strongly correlated with voting behavior; in more than 700 low-turnout counties, most people did not have a college degree, and the opposite is true in most high-turnout counties. Ease of voter registration also affects voter turnout, the Post reports. In Texas, for example, where it is notoriously difficult to register, voter turnout is mostly low.

The Post defines low-voting areas as those with a turnout of 55 percent or less, based on the 2016 presidential election turnout and the estimated population of voting-age citizens. Though there are more voters in low-turnout urban counties, there are more rural counties with a low turnout. How does your county stack up?

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