By Jason Jurjevich and Phil Keisling
Voter turnout is a foundational aspect of American democracy. In the 2012 Presidential election, less than 60 percent of the Voting Eligible Population (VEP) cast a ballot. In the 2014 Midterm election, the figures were even lower; just 36.7 percent of individuals turned out to vote, which is the lowest voter turnout rate since 1942. In party primary elections, which are now viewed as “determinative” in the vast majority of Congressional and state legislative contests, voter turnout averages around 15 percent of the eligible population.
By Phil Keisling
The number one factor in predicting someone’s likeliness to vote is their age. Our “Who Votes for Mayor?” project showed that, in 50 cities across the country, older Americans cast ballots at dramatically higher rates than younger adults.
What’s more, age powerfully trumps all other key factors typically associated with lower turnout, including household income, educational attainment, and race/ethnicity. …
By Jason Jurjevich
Local elections are critically important. Every day, over half a million local elected officials are making important and influential decisions about core local services like police and fire, transportation, housing, and drinking water. As American cities continue to grow, they are becoming important laboratories for positive civic change, especially as political gridlock at the federal level continues.
But despite the incredible impact local elected officials can have on people’s lives, we know little about electoral dynamics at the local level. So, who actually votes for mayor? The short answer: not most people. In elections for mayor, city…
A project of Portland State University examining the electoral dynamics of mayoral elections in the 50 largest U.S. cities.