2016’s Most & Least Politically Engaged States
From Wallet Hub, Nov 1, 2016
Civic participation is a key ingredient of a well-functioning democracy, and voter turnout is one measure of the public’s trust in government. But there’s evidence to suggest a growing lack of political engagement among Americans.
In the 2014 midterm elections, for instance, 15 of the first 25 statewide primary elections reported record-low voter turnouts. Overall, only 14.8 percent of the electorate cast their ballots compared with 18.3 percent in 2010. This downward pattern has continued since the 1960s, similar to the trend in presidential elections. And among democratic nations that track turnout at the polls, the U.S. usually ranks near the bottom. That’s no surprise, considering most states don’t emphasize civic education in their schools. Large proportions of the public fail even simple knowledge tests such as knowing whether one’s state requires identification in order to vote.
But of the factors that affect participation rates, the depth of one’s pockets is an important one, with implications on both voter turnout and public policy. “During the 2008 presidential election, only 41% of eligible voters making less than $15,000 a year voted, compared to 78% of those making $150,000 a year or more,” according to the Center for Voting and Democracy. As an unintended consequence, this could skew economic policy in favor of wealthier Americans.
With just a week remaining until Election Day, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on seven key indicators of political engagement. They range from “percentage of registered voters in the 2012 presidential election” to “total political contributions per adult population.” Continue reading below for their findings, additional insight from political experts and a full description of their methodology.
Hawaii 47th at 25.97%
Political Engagement Amongst the Elderly
Hawaii 39th at 63.26%
Political Engagement of Young People
Hawaii 43rd at 26.00%
read … 2016’s Most & Least Politically Engaged States