Saturday, March 02, 2019
Turning Out the Turnout: How America Stacks Up in Voting
As a result, I wanted to know where America ranks in terms of voting. After all, isn't voting the hallmark of a democracy or democratic Republic? Of course, we're now a Oligarchy with a professional political ruling class comprised of plutocrats, but how has that affected our ability to influence government?
According to 2018 Pew Research study, the nation with the highest voter turnout is Belgium with a turnout of between 83% and 95% and it's been that over the last 40 years. That's pretty impressive! Next on the list is Sweden with just over 85% of registered voters showing up at the polls. Following Sweden was Denmark with a little over 80% of the voting age population voting. In fourth place was the nation down under, Australia, which had almost 79% of its voting age population coming out to vote. South Korea rounded out the top five with just under 79% of its voting age citizens voting. Other countries in the top 20 include Norway (70%), France (78%), Mexico (66%), UK (63%), and Greece (62%).
As a nation, we pretty much stink when it comes to showing up at the polls. But, then there's not much to vote for when you're an Oligarchy right? After all, they literally own both parties and their politicians. It also means they control policy but, at least according to Citizens United and people like Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), money is free speech. Of course, corporations are allowed far more " free speech" than flesh and blood citizens and that means more access and control; even to the point of writing or co-writing legislation. They fund campaigns and fill party coffers on both sides of the aisle. Partisan politics is really about which corporate clique gets what they want and who gets the crumbs. Naturally you and I get stuck with the bill.
Well, if we're so dismal when compared to the rest of the world, how do we stack up against each other? According to several reports, the most recent data (from 2016) shows that in 10th place, the highest voter turnout was Louisiana, which by the way, has the third highest poverty rate in the US. In 9th place was Mississippi. Voter turnout out was 67%. The 8th place winner was Massachusetts with a 68% turnout. The 7th spot went to Nebraska which had a voter turnout of 68%. Coming in 6th place was Oregon with 69%.
Now that we looked at the ten best, who were the ten worse? What ten states cared the least about showing up to vote? In the 10th spot was the Peachtree state of Georgia. It's voter turnout was 59.3%. In 9th place was New York with 59.2%. The 8th place spot belonged to Arizona, which had 58.4%. 7th place went to Oklahoma. They had a voter turnout of 58.3%. Coming in 6th was Nevada with only 57.7% showing up to vote.
Now we get into the top five, which brings us to Texas. You would think their voter turnout would have put them on the other list, but nope. Texas had a voter turnout of just 55.3%. Well, at least Texas wasn't Tennessee which came in 4th place with a voter turnout of only 54.9%. In 3rd place is Arkansas which had a turnout of 54.3%. The runner up for the worse of the worse in voter turnout belongs to West Virginia. West Virginia had only 52.9%. Yikes! Finally, in first (or last) place, depending on how you look at it was Hawaii. The 50th state showed up with only half its population bothering to voter---50% exactly. Seven of the bottom ten tend to vote Republican by the way. I don't know if I should offer my congratulations or condolences.
So what does this tell us? Well, it seems to go hand-in-hand with the results of our other results in that the rhetoric of the US being the world leader in democracy doesn't match the reality of where American actually stands. It also shows the frustration that Americans feel toward politics. Most Americans are turned off by all the childish and petty playground drama which seems to define not just Washington but state capitals and local city halls. Of course, we already know the distain from Washington is reciprocated to us out here in "flyover country". They don't even pretend to listen to us anymore. Hell, they don't even have the decency to lie to us anymore. Have you noticed how many tied elections we've had recently? How many contested elections? How the fact that the 2016 Democratic Primary was fixed and nothing actually happened!? They just do as they please and leave it to the corporate controlled media to spin it however they want.
It's up to you. We have the power and the ballot box remains...at least for the moment...our best option. However, if we're to preserve what's left of our Republic (which isn't very much as the numbers have repeatedly shown us), then we must act now. We can't wait and there won't be a second chance.
US voter trails most developed countries in voter turnout
Americans Don't Show Up at the Polls But Neither Do the Swiss
States With the Highest (and Lowest) Voter Turnout