2016 November General Election Turnout Rates

Last updated: 9/5/2018

A number of different turnout rates are presented here. The preferred turnout rates are those calculated with the voting-eligible population as the denominator. The voting-eligible population (VEP) represents an estimate of persons eligible to vote regardless of voter registration status in an election and is constructed by modifying the voting-age population (VAP), by components reported in the right-most columns (scroll right in the spreadsheet). Links to data sources are provided at the bottom of this page.

The preferred turnout rate numerator is the Total Ballots Counted, which is all ballots election officials counted. Not all jurisdictions report total ballots counted, so a second-best numerator is Highest Office, which in a presidential election year is the total votes for all presidential candidates including write-ins, and in a non-presidential election may be the vote for the highest turnout statewide office (typically governor) or if no statewide election was held, the sum of the congressional elections. Total ballots counted includes blank and otherwise invalid votes for the highest office. Some states may report a statistic they call total ballots cast, but is actually vote for highest office.

Questions? Please see the FAQ.

Direct link to spreadsheet.


Notes:

The denominator reflects the July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017 voting-age population estimates interpolated to Nov. 1, 2016; non-citizen estimates from the 2016 1-Year American Community Survey; the year-end 2016 DOJ prison report; and the year-end 2016 DOJ probation and parole report. The number of felons who are on probation is estimated to be 57% of the total, which based on a DOJ survey; the total probation population is reported in the spreadsheet, and this adjustment is applied to the number of ineligible felons on probation, parole or in prison. Starting in 2010, the citizen prison population is reported. A '0' indicates that either a state does not disfranchise a class of felons or the state does not incarcerate felons within their borders (this is true for DC). See The Sentencing Project for more information.

The overseas eligible population estimate is extrapolated from 2012 and 2014 civilian estimates from the Federal Voting Assistance Program -- which reports 5.6 million overseas citizens in 2012 and 5.7 in 2014. This estimate is deflated by 76.0%, which is the percentage of the domestic citizen population that is of voting age according to the 2015 American Community Survey. Military personnel stationed overseas are added from a June, 2016 Defense Manpower Report. (Note: based on a survey of overseas voters, the Federal Voting Assistance Program estimates that only 45.3% of overseas citizens are of voting age. Pending further investigation, I follow past practice of using an estimate from the domestic civilians.)