Voter Turnout By State

Turnout in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was 59%, nationwide. What state had the highest voter turnout?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does this chart tell?

  3. Why do you think that is?

  4. How do you think this information impacts campaigns and elections?

  5. Are you Surprised by this information?

  6. The brown states in the graph are states where the vote was won by less than 5% points (in other words, the vote was close!) Green states are the ones that were not very close. In general How do brown (close) states compare to green (not close) states in terms of voter turnout rates?

  7. Why do you think that is?

  8. What is the political science term we use for these brown states?

  9. Considering that America is probably more polarized than any time besides the 1960s and the Civil War, explain why all the states are not brown?

  10. What is the total difference between the state with the highest and lowest turnout?

  11. Is that surprising?

  12. What does this graph have to do with federalism?

  13. If we didn’t have an electoral college, would this graph matter?

  14. In which states do you imagine candidates spent most of the time and money campaigning in?

  15. Would you rather live in a brown or a green state?

  16. Are there any generalizations about party affiliation, race, or socio-economic status we can make about citizens of brown versus citizens of green states?

  17. You’ll find a map below of what states make it easiest and hardest to vote.* How do you think that information connects to the information in the graph above?

  18. Why do you think some states are making it so much harder for people to vote?

Visual Extension*

Learning Extension

check out the Fair Vote website and information about why voter turnout is essential to a strong democracy.

Action Extension

State legislatures are in charge of voting rules and registration. Contact your state legislature and let them know what you think about your voter turnout and offer them one suggestion of what they could do about it! Share your story in class or online.

Luther Extension

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