For Every 10 U.S. Adults, Six Vote and Four Don’t. What Separates Them?

Alicia Parlapiano and Adam Pearce, New York Times, September 13, 2016

While young people, poor people and Hispanics are often singled out for low voting rates, there are millions of nonvoters in every demographic group. In fact, the majority of people who didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election were white, middle-income and middle-aged.

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At the individual level, education and income are still two of the strongest predictors of whether someone will turn out at the polls.

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There are also group dynamics that influence voting rates across racial and ethnic lines. Even when statistics are adjusted for income and education, there are large gaps among rates for whites, blacks and Hispanics in the United States. Black voters, particularly women, have the highest turnout rates over all. The turnout gap with whites is most pronounced at lower levels of income and education.

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Turnout rates for Hispanic voters are much lower over all. {snip}

But Hispanic voters are not a homogenous group. Hispanics who are naturalized citizens are more likely to vote than those born in the United States. Immigrant communities perceive a higher stake in election outcomes, Professor Michelson said.

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