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What is a typical voter turnout rate for a general election?

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Quick Answer

Between the presidential election of 1980 and Barack Obama's re-election in 2012, the turnout rate has consistently been within a 9-point range, averaging around 50 percent. The high came in 2008 when 57 percent of the voting-age population turned out, while only 48 percent turned out in 1996.

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What is a typical voter turnout rate for a general election?
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Full Answer

The calculation of voter turnout is somewhat skewed by the fact that only 65 percent of Americans registered to vote by the 2012 presidential election. In that election, 84.3 percent of registered voters turned out to cast a ballot. By comparison, the percentage of the voting-age population actually registered to vote in Sweden is 96 percent and in the United Kingdom is it only slightly lower at 93 percent, as of 2015.

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