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Study: Voter turnout for '18 midterms on par with presidential elections

By Clyde Hughes
Study: Voter turnout for '18 midterms on par with presidential elections
Voters walk outside a polling location in Leesbugh, Virginia, on Election Day, November 6, 2018. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

June 27 (UPI) -- More than 120 million Americans voted in the midterm elections last fall -- an increase of about 11 percent over the same mid-cycle vote four years earlier, federal statistics showed Thursday.

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission said in the survey voters in 2018 represented more than half of the United States' total estimated voting population. In some states, voter turnout was on par with that typically seen in presidential elections, the research noted.

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The report also showed a quarter of voters mailed their ballots and one-fifth voted early -- twice the number who voted early in 2014 -- and six states saw more early voters than they did on election day. California, Montana and Utah saw large increases in mailed ballots.

"Because of the decentralized nature of U.S. elections, it is important to have comprehensive data to identify trends in how elections are administered and how citizens participate in the electoral process," the survey said in its executive summary.

"The [data] confirms that turnout in the 2018 general elections increased in nearly all states when compared to 2014."

Nichelle Williams, the commission's director of research, said 99.9 percent of electoral jurisdictions responded to the survey and hopes it will help address security concerns for voting machines.

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