Nearly Half of Eligible Voters Didn't Vote

From Cosmopolitan

While many continue to mourn, celebrate, and dissect Tuesday's election, new data now suggests that part of the reason for its surprising outcome might be due to low voter turnout.

According to the United States Election Project, nearly half of eligible voters (46.9 percent of approximately 231,556,622 people) did not vote in the 2016 election. And while not the lowest voter turnout in history (that honor goes to the 1996 election between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, with 49 percent of eligible Americans abstaining from voting), the numbers are much lower than they were in both 2012 and 2008, particularly among Democrats.

While it might be easy to assume that these numbers reflect a lack of passion from the Democratic party this year, Republicans actually saw a lower voter turnout compared to the 2012 election, as well - albeit much less dramatically. Many sources argue that the reasoning for this is in part due to the fact that it is the first election since the Supreme Court ruled against the Voting Rights Act in 2013. This led to the closing of over 800 polling places across the country, and stricter ID requirements for voters in multiple states.

Of those who were eligible to vote, 25.6 percent voted for Hillary Clinton Clinton, 25.5 percent voted for president-elect Donald Trump, and 1.7 percent voted for Gary Johnson. Of those who were eligible to vote in swing states, 36.5 percent abstained from voting, 29.9 percent voted for Clinton, 30.9 percent voted for Trump, and 1.9 percent voted for Johnson.

In multiple states, victories came down to fewer than 10,000 votes, which truly sheds light on just how valuable those missing votes might have been for either of the major party candidates. It's also a reminder of just how valuable your vote is in picking who runs this country - and how important it is everyone remembers to vote in 2018 and 2020.

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