US voter turnout was way up in the 2018 midterms, but it still lags behind most developed countries'

  • Voter turnout in this year’s US midterms was way up compared with previous years but remained much lower than that of most developed nations.
  • This year saw the highest voter turnout for a US midterm election in over 100 years, but it was still less than half the eligible population.
  • France, South Korea, Belgium, Sweden, Israel, New Zealand, Germany, the UK, Canada, and Spain all had over half the voting-age population participate in their most recent national elections.
  • Roughly 116 million Americans participated in the 2018 midterms.

Voter turnout in the 2018 midterms was way up compared with previous years, but it remains much lower than that of most developed countries.

According to data compiled by the lobbyist Bruce Mehlman, voter turnout for a US midterm election hit its highest level in over 100 years in 2018. Still, the figures show less than half of eligible voters (49.2%) participated in the election.

Moreover, other developed countries put the US to shame when it comes to voter turnout in national elections, according to Mehlman’s figures. In France’s national election last year, for example, 67.9% of the voting-age population participated. South Korea’s national election in 2017 saw an even higher number: 77.9%.

Additionally, Sweden, Israel, New Zealand, Germany, the UK, Canada, and Spain all had over half the voting-age population participate in their most recent national elections.

While the US is technically the world’s oldest democracy, it has an abysmal record when it comes to voter participation.


Read more:
12 records the 2018 midterm elections smashed

Still, 2018 represents a major improvement for the US in terms of midterm participation. Roughly 116 million Americans voted,according to an analysis from the US Elections Project.

On average, approximately 40% of eligible voters participate in US midterms.

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