Rankings: Which states don’t bother to vote


People wait in line to cast their ballots at the Smyrna Community Center on October 24, 2020, in Smyrna, Georgia. – Neighbors and volunteers are handing out water and snacks to the masked voters waiting patiently in line to cast their ballots on a hot October day in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna.
Americans go to the polls on November 3 but the enthusiastic early voting here has already given the morning an air of Election Day.
Georgia has been a reliably Republican, conservative bastion and a Democrat has not won in the Peach State since Bill Clinton, a fellow Southerner, in 1992.
But Democratic candidate Joe Biden, 77, and Republican incumbent Donald Trump, 74, are running neck-and-neck in the polls in Georgia. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage / AFP) (Photo by ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP via Getty Images)

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — While the boom in early voting numbers seems to indicate incredibly high interest in this year’s presidential election, that doesn’t mean all states are created equal when it comes to getting people to the polls.

As folks line up across the country, we’ve seen states like Texas already equal its voting numbers from the 2016 election. But for that election, a mere 51% of Texans participated at the polls.

Voter turnout in the 2016 general election was 60% nationwide. While states like Minnesota and Maine saw turnout above 70%, there were a number of states well below the national average.

The lowest of them all? Hawaii.

24/7 Wall St. analyzed the states with the lowest figures and says Hawaii regularly produces low turnout. In fact, non-presidential years can see as few as 1 in 3 people head to the polls.

Typically, contested states see higher turnout and there’s not much contested about Hawaii. In 2012, President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney by 43 percentage points.

To help address the issue, lawmakers in Hawaii passed legislation to allow people to register to vote as late as Election Day.

Other low-ranking states include West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arkansas — with turnout rates near 50%. In some cases non-competitive races elsewhere on the ballot may be partially to blame. 24/7 Wall St. also notes turnout can be directly tied to education. Some of these states have collegiate attainment rates quite a bit lower than the national average.

To put things in perspective, countries like Denmark, Sweden and Belgium saw participation in recent national elections around 80 percent, according to the Washington Post.

Here’s a look at the states with the lowest turnout, according to the United States Elections Project’s “Voter Turnout” report from February 2019:

  • Hawaii 43.00%
  • West Virginia 50.00%
  • Texas 51.60%
  • Oklahoma 52%
  • Arkansas 53.10%
  • Mississippi 55.00%
  • New Mexico 55.20%
  • Arizona 56.20%
  • Nevada 57.30%
  • New York 57.30%
  • South Carolina 57.30%
  • Utah 57.70%
  • Indiana 57.90%
  • California 58.40%
  • Alabama 59.30%
  • Kansas 59.70%
  • Kentucky 59.70%
  • Rhode Island 59.70%
  • Georgia 59.90%
  • South Dakota 59.90%
  • Wyoming 60.40%
  • Louisiana 60.60%
  • Idaho 60.90%
  • Alaska 61.80%
  • North Dakota 61.90%
  • Missouri 62.30%
  • Illinois 63.40%
  • Nebraska 63.80%
  • Pennsylvania 64.00%
  • Ohio 64.20%
  • Delaware 64.60%
  • Vermont 64.80%
  • North Carolina 65.20%
  • Connecticut 65.40%
  • New Jersey 65.50%
  • Michigan 65.70%
  • Washington 65.70%
  • Florida 65.70%
  • Virginia 66.10%
  • Maryland 67.20%
  • Massachusetts 68.30%
  • Oregon 68.30%
  • Iowa 69.00%
  • Wisconsin 69.50%
  • Colorado 72.10%
  • New Hampshire 72.50%
  • Maine 72.80%
  • Minnesota 74.80%

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Read

Top Stories

More Home Page Top Stories