Turnout, or voter turnout, refers to the percentage of eligible voters who actually vote in an election.
For presidential elections, voter turnout has been about 50-55% in the United States in the past few decades. 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).
- Alexander Keyssar, The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2001) excerpt and text search
- American election campaigns, 19th century
- First Party System
- Second Party System
- Third Party System
- Fourth Party System
- Fifth Party System
- Gilded Age
- Jim Crow