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Turnout, or voter turnout, refers to the percentage of eligible voters who actually vote in an election.

High rates of turnout in the Second Party System demonstrated strong voter interest; all adult male citizens could vote; compare this to 60% turnout in 21st century in the Fifth Party System

For presidential elections, voter turnout has been about 50-55% in the United States in the past few decades.[1] For non-presidential federal elections, voter turnout has been between 35% and 40%. For local school board elections, voter turnout can be less than 20%.

Typically the turnout in a primary is particularly low. The record turnout for the State of Alabama in a presidential election is only 42.6% of registered voters (which is only a subset of the total number of eligible voters). That record was set in 2008. The prior record for Alabama was only 29% (set in 1992).

Further reading

  • Alexander Keyssar, The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2001) excerpt and text search

See also


  1. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html