Voter Turnout up 7 Million in 2006

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Press release, CB08-102, July 1, 2008

Some 96 million voted in the 2006 congressional elections, an increase of 7 million from 2002, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

About 48 percent of voting-age citizens cast a ballot in 2006, the highest since 1994 when the Census Bureau first began collecting this data.

These data come from the report Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2006, and are based on responses to the November 2006 Current Population Survey Voting and Registration Supplement. The report examines the levels of voting and registration, characteristics of citizens who either registered or voted, and the reasons why people who were registered did not vote. Voting and registration rates are historically lower in years with congressional elections than in presidential election years. This report compares 2006 election data only with data from previous congressional election years.

Among citizens of voting age, 68 percent were registered to vote in 2006, compared with 67 percent who were registered in 2002. Overall, 136 million people were registered in 2006, an increase of approximately 8 million over 2002.

Nearly three of every four registered voters went to the polls in 2006. Among registered voters, 71 percent reported voting, compared with 69 percent in 2002.

Among those who did not vote, about four out of 10 cited conflicting schedules or illness as reasons. About two in 10 were either not interested in voting or did not like the candidates. Other reasons for not voting included being out of town, forgetting to vote, registration problems, inconvenient polling locations, transportation issues and bad weather.

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