About 139 million voters cast ballots in 2016 US elections: report

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/3/17 7:55:41

About 139 million Americans, or 60.2 percent of the US voting-eligible population, cast a ballot in 2016 general elections in which Donald Trump won the White House, representing the second-highest in the past half-century.

According to data released Thursday by the US Elections Project, the percentage is above the 58.6 percent of US eligible voters who showed up to help reelect Barack Obama in 2012 but below the 62.2 percent in 2008.

Nine of the 13 states where voter turnout was highest were battleground states, with Minnesota notching the highest turnout for the eighth time in the past nine US elections.

Nearly 3 in 4 voters in Minnesota cast a ballot on Nov. 8 Election Day. Clinton won Minnesota's 10 electoral votes by a slim 45,000-vote margin.

Turnout was over 70 percent of voters in Maine, New Hampshire, Colorado and Wisconsin, 69 percent in Iowa and more than two-thirds in Massachusetts, Oregon, Maryland and Virginia.

States where more voters showed up shared one of two similarities: They were either battleground states, or they allowed voters to register and cast ballots on the same day, a TheHill news daily report quoted researchers from the group Nonprofit Vote as saying.

Voter participation in the 15 states with same-day registration laws on the books was 7 percentage points higher than in states where voters have to register weeks before Election Day, said the researchers, noting six states with the highest turnout are all same-day registration states.

In battleground states, turnout hit 65 percent, 5 points higher than in nonbattleground states, they said in a report titled America Goes to the Polls 2016.

States with the lowest levels of voter turnout were all in one party's column: Just 43 percent of voters cast ballots in safely Democratic Hawaii. Less than 53 percent of voters cast ballots in reliably Republican Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

US voter turnout topped 62 percent in all three presidential contests held in the 1960s and hit 65 percent in 1908 among a much smaller population. US women did not get the right to vote until 1920, said the report.

Trump won almost 63 million popular votes in 2016, falling nearly 2.9 million votes shy of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton but enough to secure a majority of Electoral College.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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