Nov 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The record-breaking voter turnout

Mike Allen
People hold signs that say "count every vote," in Boston.
Protesters gather on Boston Common to demand that every vote be counted a day after presidential elections were held in the US. Photo: Jodi Hilton/NurPhoto via Getty Images

This year's turnout rate of the voting-eligible population eclipsed elections in most Americans' lifetimes, per the Washington Post.

The big picture: The latest figure (61.7%) stands only a few points away from breaking a 60-year-old record set in 1960 (63.8%).

  • If the current projection of 66.4% holds, 2020 turnout will be the highest since 1900, when 73.7% of eligible Americans cast ballots: "But America had a much smaller voting pool over a century ago. Women did not yet have the right to vote, nor did Asian Americans and many Native Americans," the Post notes.
  • Records from 1980 were broken in at least 31 states.

Go deeper: Graphic showing turnout rates, 1789-2018.

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