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Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections: 1828 - 2008

• V.A.P. = Voting Age Population
1) from 1972 includes citizens 18 years of age; 2) V.A.P. includes those ineligible to vote such as felons. Because of this, V.A.P. figures are naturally lower than if the Voting Eligible Population (V.E.P.) is used as the denominator.
• REG = Registered to Vote

Year
Total V.A.P. Total REG* % REG of V.A.P * Turnout
% TO of V.A.P.
1828
57.6%
1832
55.4%
1836
57.8%
1840
80.2%
1844
78.9%
1848
72.7%
1852
69.6%
1856
78.9%
1860
81.2%
1864
73.8%
1868
78.1%
1872
71.3%
1876
81.8%
1880
79.4%
1884
77.5%
1888
79.3%
1892
74.7%
1896
79.3%
1900
73.2%
1904
65.2%
1908
65.4%
1912
58.8%
1916
61.6%
1920
49.2%
1924
48.9%
1928
56.9%
1932
56.9%
1936
61.0%
1940
62.5%
1944
55.9%
1948
53.0%
1952
63.3%
1956
60.6%
Year
Total V.A.P. Total REG* % REG of V.A.P * Turnout
% TO of V.A.P.
1960
109,672,000 63,854,789 * 58.22% 68,838,204
62.77%
1964
114,090,000 73,715,818 * 64.61% 70,644,592
61.92%
1968
120,328,186 81,658,180 * 67.86% 73,211,875
60.84%
1972
140,776,000 97,283,541 * 69.11% 77,718,554
55.21%
1976
152,309,190 105,024,916 * 68.96% 81,555,789
53.55%
1980
164,597,000 113,036,958 * 68.67% 86,515,221
52.56%
1984
174,468,000 124,184,647 * 71.18% 92,652,680
53.11%
1988
182,630,000 126,381,202 * 69.20% 91,594,693
50.15%
1992
189,044,500 133,821,178 * 70.79% 104,405,155
55.23%
1996
196,511,000 146,211,960 * 74.40% 96,456,345
49.08%
2000
205,815,000 156,421,311 * 76.00% 105,586,274
51.30%
2004 221,256,931 174,800,000 * 79.00% 122,295,345 55.27%
2008 230,782,870 TBD TBD 132,645,504 57.48%

*Note: Total REG data is incomplete or unavailable in some states, making it appear in some years as though more people voted than were registered to vote. From 1976 through 2004, this is due to the fact that North Dakota does not have voter registration, and in Wisconsin eligible voters may register to vote at the polls.

Sources:
(1824-1956) - Lyn Ragsdale, Vital Statistics on the Presidency (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1998), 132-38.
(1960-2004) - Compiled by Gerhard Peters from data obtained from the Federal Election Commission.
(2008) - Adapted from Michael McDonald, United States Elections Project (http://elections.gmu.edu/Turnout_2008G.html)

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