More voters cast ballots in November’s elections than when President Obama won reelection in 2012, though the number of Americans who showed up to vote remains well below all-time highs set half a century ago. About 139 million Americans, or 60.2 percent of the voting-eligible population, cast a ballot in November’s elections, according to data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project. That compares with 58.6 percent of eligible voters who turned out in 2012, but it’s below the 62.2 percent who turned out to help elect Obama for the first time in 2008. Last year, President Trump won just shy of 63 million votes — enough to secure a majority of the Electoral College, even though he fell almost 3 million votes shy of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. The states where Trump and Clinton battled most fiercely also tended to be those where voter turnout was highest. Nine of the 13 states where voter turnout was highest were battleground states.
Nearly 3 in 4 voters in Minnesota turned out to vote in November’s elections, a rate higher than in any other state. Last year marked the eighth time in the past nine elections that Minnesota notched the highest turnout in the nation. Clinton won the state’s 10 electoral votes by a slim 45,000-vote margin.
More than 70 percent of voters turned out in Maine, New Hampshire, Colorado and Wisconsin, all states where both presidential campaigns invested heavily. Turnout hit 69 percent in hotly contested Iowa, and more than two-thirds of voters cast ballots in Massachusetts, Oregon, Maryland and Virginia.
Researchers from the group Nonprofit Vote, which promotes voter participation and policies that will increase turnout, said states where more people showed up shared one of two similarities: They were either battleground states, or they allowed voters to register and cast ballots on the same day.