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Voter Turnout Lowest in 20 Years

Even though election results were still being tabulated at the end of November, the 2016 election has so far had the lowest voter turnout since the 1996 election. The 126 million votes counted means that about 55% of voting age citizens cast ballots for the 2016 election, compared to the 2008 election when nearly 64% of eligible voters cast ballots.

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Voter turnout is determined by the number of eligible voters who cast a ballot during an election. Social economic factors significantly affect whether or not individuals and family members develop a discipline of voting in future elections. It is suggested that the most important social economic factor affecting voter turnout is education. That is, the more educated an individual is, the higher the probability that he or she will vote during any given election. Hence, it’s no surprise that all political parties heartily support a strong educational base in this country.

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According to a Pew Research Center survey of registered voters conducted from June 15th to 26th, some of the most important issues in this election were the economy, terrorism and foreign policy. Over two thirds of voters also believed that health care, gun policy, immigration, and social security were important to how they would vote. While still important, issues including education, Supreme Court appointments, treatment of racial and ethnical minorities, as well as trade policy, the environment, abortion and the treatment of LGBT people weighed less heavily on the minds of voters.  

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Bipartisan Policy Center, electionproject.org