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Registration and voting in 1996, 2000, and 2004

Registration and Voting in Presidential Elections

It's a little tricky to show registration, turnout, and turnout of registered by age for three different elections all at once. I hope that the chart makes clear the great gains in 2004 for young voters, driven by huge increases in registration combined with strong GOTV efforts.

Selected items to note:

  • Turnout is essentially the same between 1996 and 2000, with a noticeable uptick in 2004 concentrated in young voters.
  • Voter registration is roughly the same for all three elections other than an increase in 2004 among those 35 years old or younger.
  • In 2004 turnout of 18 year olds (44%) was higher than registration among 18 year olds in 2000. In other words, even if 100% of registered 18 year olds had voted in 2000, overall turnout of 18 year olds could not have been as high as 44% without first increasing registration rates.
  • Among those who are registered, turnout has risen across the board from 1996 to 2000 to 2004, but again this increase is concentrated among young voters.
  • Among the registered population, those age 85 or older were the least likely to vote in 2004.

Feb 2009: uploaded a slightly improved chart.


When do we get an update with the 2008 numbers?

Just saw your comment Amiya - 2008 data should be available this summer.