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Shows Turnout Advantage of States with Same Day Registration and Greater Competition

BOSTON, March 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With election results finally certified by state election offices, Nonprofit VOTE and the U.S. Elections Project release “America Goes to The Polls,” a report that ranks all 50 states in voter turnout for the 2016 election and identifies policies that help contribute to higher turnout. National turnout of eligible voters was 60.2% – 1.6 percentage points above the 58.6% turnout in 2012, though slightly lower than 2008. Four in ten eligible voters did not vote. The highest turnout states were Minnesota (74.8%), Maine (72.8%), New Hampshire (72.5%), Colorado (72.1%), Wisconsin (70.5%), and Iowa (69.0%). All six offered same day voter registration, enabling voters to register or update their registration when they vote. Five were battleground states targeted by the presidential campaigns. The lowest turnout states were Hawaii (43%), West Virginia (50.8%), Texas (51.6%), Tennessee (52.0%) and Arkansas (53.1%). These five states were at the bottom for the third consecutive presidential election. None were battleground states. All five cut off the ability to register or update a registration three to four weeks before Election Day. “We continue to see higher voter participation in states with same day registration even as four additional states adopted the policy.” said Dr. Michael McDonald, Director of the U.S. Elections Project. The report also highlights new data on the low level of electoral competition in both the presidential race and House races – a major contributor to low voter turnout in non-competitive states and districts. 147 million (65%) of the nation’s eligible voters live in non-battleground states where the outcome is largely a foregone conclusion. Competition for U.S. House races hit its lowest mark in at least 30 years. Just 33 House races ended with margin of victory between the top two candidates of 10% points or less. Most House races (74%) were landslides or uncontested. “Voter participation is at the core of active citizenship and a healthy democracy,” said Brian Miller, Executive Director of Nonprofit VOTE. “This report offers the reader an opportunity to learn from the practical experience of policies already enacted in many states to promote voting, encourage healthy competition, and improve election integrity.” To download America Goes to the Polls 2016, visit SOURCE Nonprofit VOTE Related Links]]>

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