No matter what side of the ideological fence you’re on 2016 has turned out to be an exciting year in American politics. With Republican and Democratic nominees busily battling it out with lots of mud slinging, partisan rhetoric, and attack ads political activity has shifted into high gear. Come November US citizens will have the opportunity to have their voices heard when they exercise their right to vote in the 2016 Presidential Election. Will history be made by the election of the first female president or will billionaire nominee Donald Trump connect with disenfranchised voters tired of the status quo? All bets are off but one thing’s for certain; American voters are in for a bumpy ride.
Although it’s been said time and timer again it can’t be stressed enough that in order to affect change citizens across the country must get out and vote. With this in mind, according to recent statistics here’s the top ten states with the highest voter turn out.
The citizens of Minnesota are considered to be particularly politically active so it should come as no surprise that the state boosts a 74.5% voter turnout rate. Perhaps one reason for the consistently large turnout at the ballot box is this Midwestern state’s same-day voter registration law. Because of this option residents who haven’t yet registered can do so on election day at their local polling station. Over the years Minnesota has produced a number of prominent politicians including Frank Kellogg (a Republican who was elected to the Senate in 1916), Hubert Humphrey (the 38th Vice President of the US under Lyndon Johnson), and Walter Mondale (who served as the 42nd Vice President under Jimmy Carter).
With a 73% voter turnout rate Wisconsin, also known as the Badger State, plays a significant role in national elections because of its status as a so-called “swing” state. Historically this Midwestern state played a vital role in the creating the Republican Party but times are changing and in recent years voters in America’s Dairyland have tended to be more receptive to Democratic candidates. In previous national elections Al Gore, John Kerry, and Barack Obama have all taken Wisconsin. The state is also the birthplace of Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
The New England state of Maine averages a turnout of approximately 70.8% of its eligible voters exercising their democratic right to vote. This small and mostly rural state lies at the northern most portion of the continental US and borders the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick. With less than 20,000 residents Augusta ranks as one of the least populated state capitals in America. The Pine Tree state also holds the distinction of being one of the least densely populated states in New England as well as being one of its least racially diverse with the majority of citizens classified as Caucasian.
4. New Hampshire
This northeastern state, nicknamed the Granite State, is yet another important swing state. With 69.8% of its eligible voters exercising their democratic right to vote it’s no wonder that the motto of New Hampshire is “Live free or die”. In terms of its political influence at least, this relatively small state proves that size doesn’t matter. Because of its historical heritage as one of the original thirteen colonies the state is rich in cultural significance. The roots of American patriotism run deep here and politics play a pivotal part in how citizens express their love of freedom, democracy, and the U.S.A. Notable residents of New Hampshire include revolutionary hero John Stark, Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepherd, and Franklin Pierce (the 14th President).
In the Midwestern state of Iowa an average of 69.6% of eligible voters cast their ballots. The Hawkeye State is perceived as being a competitive political battleground. In the past the state had been considered a red (or Republican) stronghold but times are changing and recent elections have illustrated a more competitive voting pattern. Controversial right wing Republican Michelle Bachmann, who ran for her party’s Presidential nomination in 2012, is a native of Waterloo, Iowa. Clearly Bachmann, who is a loyal supporter of The Tea Party Movement, is an example of the far right ideology supported by sizable faction of Iowa’s conservative population.
Located in the northwestern portion of the continental US Oregon boasts a 69.1% voter participation rate. Nicknamed the Beaver State Oregon entered the union in 1859. In recent times the political affiliation of local voters has been divided between conservatives who are dominant in the east and more liberal leanings voters residing along the west coast. In the last several elections Oregon has supported Democratic candidates including Barack Obama in 2012.
7. North Dakota
Also known as the Roughrider State and The Flickertail State, North Dakota has a voter turn out rate of 68.3%. With agriculture continuing to play a major role in the state’s economy the most important crops grown in the area include flax seed, wheat, sugar beets?, and various types of beans. Native American culture and religion both serve as major social and cultural influences in this Midwestern state. Notable North Dakotans include former Secretary of State Warren Christopher and ex-astronauts Richard Hieb and James F. Buchli.
This northeastern state has one of the highest voter turnout rate in the entire country with 68.1% of eligible voters performing their civic duty. The Bay State is another important jurisdiction due to its rich cultural history and important role in the birth of America as a free and sovereign nation. Although small in size the state is the third in terms of being the most densely populated. The Old Colony State is largely liberal which explains why, in 2004, it was the very first state to allow same-sex marriage. Outspoken Democrat and left wing politician Elizabeth Warren currently represent Massachusetts in the Senate.
According to a 2014 Gallup Poll the southern state of Mississippi has earned the status as the most religious state in the entire US. With the nickname The Magnolia State Mississippi has an average voter turn out rate of 67.2%. In terms of historical significance Mississippi played an important role in the Civil War which seems to be in keeping with the state’s reputation as the site of ongoing racial tensions involving African Americans and white citizens. As a conservative Republican state a large portion of Mississippi residents reject same-sex marriage but support the death penalty.
The Bayou State of Louisiana is well known for many things including its annual Mardi Gras celebration, the lively French Quarter, jazz music, Cajun and Creole cultures, and the massive damages it suffered during hurricanes such as Katrina. Louisiana has a voter turnout rate of 66.7% and although historically the state’s residents have supported the Democratic party the state has recently experienced a rise in support for Republican candidates.