Political Participation2020 Election Sparks

2020 Elections & Participation: Voter Turnout

Posted on in Political Participation · 2020 Election Sparks

While more people have voted than at any other time in American history, percentage-wise, this number does not quite break records. Given that around 239.2 million Americans were eligible to vote in 2020, the projected number of voters brings us to a 66.7% turnout rate. This makes 2020 the year with the highest voter turnout since 1900, when Republican William McKinley won reelection with 73.7% turnout. In 2016, by comparison, 230.9 million Americans were eligible to vote and 136.8 million voted for a voter turnout rate of 59.2%.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “Voter Turnout"

Links

“2020 turnout is the highest in over a century”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/elections/voter-turnout/

“2020’s record voter turnout in the US is still lower than many other countries”
https://qz.com/1926959/2020-us-record-voter-turnout-is-still-lower-than-other-countries/

“How US voter turnout increased in key states – a visual guide”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/10/us-election-voter-turnout-record-visual-guide

“Republicans Pushed to Restrict Voting. Millions of Americans Pushed Back”
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/05/us/politics/2020-election-turnout.html

“Voter turnout rate in the presidential election in the United States as of November 16, 2020, by state”
https://www.statista.com/statistics/1184621/presidential-election-voter-turnout-rate-state/

“US voter demographics: election 2020 ended up looking a lot like 2016”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/05/us-election-demographics-race-gender-age-biden-trump

“Surge in youth voter turnout may have helped propel Biden to victory”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/09/youth-turnout-us-election-biden-victory-young-voters

“Why Don’t Young People Vote, and What Can Be Done About It?”
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/08/upshot/youth-voting-2020-election.html

“Election Week 2020: Young People Increase Turnout, Lead Biden to Victory”
https://circle.tufts.edu/latest-research/election-week-2020#youth-voter-turnout-increased-in-2020

Assessment

  • Debate: Voting is important because it is a chance to have your voice heard. If you don’t vote, you do not have the right to complain.
  • While voting may be important, there are much more effective forms of political  participation in the United States.
  • Poll: It is important to vote because every vote matters.             
  • Short Answer: What sociological factors have been shown to impact voter turnout?

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Featured Image Credit: Artem Podrez

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