The U.S. midterms typically had weaker voter turnout than the presidential elections. Historically, 40% of eligible voters headed to the ballot box in the midterms compared to between 50 – 60% for the presidential elections. With this past midterm election eclipsed 2014’s 20 million.
Despite the positive trend for voter participation, it is still far behind the 2016 presidential election which saw more than 46 million votes counted ahead of election day. Far lower than in major national elections in other countries. When turnout is measured as a share of the voting-age population, it was just 55.7 percent in the 2016 presidential election, according to Pew Research.
The United States is far behind Belgium which had a high turnout of 87.2 percent in its most recent election in 2014. However, it must be pointed out that the country has a system of compulsory voting, consistently resulting in high turnout figures. Many countries without such a system also experience high voting volumes with Sweden a notable example with 82.6 percent in 2014. South Korea also had an impressive turnout of 77.9 percent last year.
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