Participation in the democratic process is a fundamental right and responsibility of American citizens age 18 and older. Still, nationwide, fewer than two out of three voting-age Americans show up to the polls for presidential elections every four years. Voter turnout in midterm elections is even lower.
In nearly every midterm congressional election since 1986, fewer than half of all eligible adults cast a vote. The only exception is the 2018 election, when 53.4% of voting-age adults cast a ballot. The turnout marked the highest participation rate in a midterm election in recent history. Pundits speculate that the record turnout was partially a reaction to the multiple controversies that have engulfed the Trump administration. These are the most important Trump events in the second year of his presidency.
Voter turnout is not even nationwide, however, and some states tend to have far more civically engaged residents than others. Using state-level voter-participation data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. ranked states by voter turnout, from the lowest to the highest.
Age demographics partially explain the increased voter turnout in the highest ranking states on this list. Older Americans — those 65 and older — are the most likely to vote. In seven of the 10 states with the highest voter turnout, the share of residents 65 and older is higher than the 15.6% national share.
Economic factors also influence voter turnout at a state level. Higher-income Americans are far more likely to vote than those at the lower end of the income spectrum. In eight of the 10 states with the highest voter participation, the poverty rate is lower than the 13.4% national rate. Here is a full list of America’s richest and poorest states.
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