With elections now certified in all 50 states, Nonprofit VOTE is pleased to release the latest edition of America Goes to the Polls--a report on national turnout and voting trends. Despite Hurricane Sandy and a slew of proposed or enacted state-level changes in voting procedures, an estimated 58.7% of eligible voters cast ballots on November 6th. Although turnout was below 2008's benchmark high, it still exceeded turnout for most presidential elections of the last 40 years--even in spite of steep drop off in hurricane-impacted states like New York and New Jersey. Here are other highlights from the report:
- Minnesota was number one in the country in voter turnout. Hawaii was last, while Wisconsin and Colorado came in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
- Seven of the top ten turnout states had Election Day Registration, swing state status or both. Voter turnout in Election Day Registration states was 12 points higher than in states without it.
- 96% of television ad spending went to ten battleground states--this number represents spending by presidential campaigns and allied groups between April 11th and November 6th.
- Voters continue to embrace early voting. National polls showed that 33-40% of voters voted early in-person or by mail, up from 31% in 2008 and 23% in 2004.
- Youth turnout is growing in both size and diversity. Young voters ages 18-29 increased their share of national voter turnout from 18% in 2008 to 19% in 2012. The percent of eligible young voters who are minorities rose to 42% in 2012.