Erie Vital Signs

Voter Participation: Voter Participation Rates

Recent Performance

This trend has been negative.

During the past four presidential election years, the voter participation rate in Erie reached a peak of 62.2 percent in 2004, and has declined in both 2008 and 2012.

Erie’s voter participation rate used to be higher than that in Pennsylvania, but recently has fallen below the state’s rate.

Both Erie County and the state of Pennsylvania have historically had higher voter participation rates than the U.S. as a whole.


The Basics

The voter participation rate is the percentage of voting age residents that voted for President.

Why It's Important

Voting is an important component of a democratic system and the voter participation rate reflects the extent to which citizens in an area are willing to engage in the democratic process. Voting participation of a community can indicate a variety of different things. High voting participation can indicate a very controversial or important election. Likewise, low voting participation can indicate a very unpopular election where both or all candidates are not liked, or in which the issues are not perceived by voters to be important. Voting participation may also be related to other demographic variables such as the level of education.

The Details

For Erie and the state of Pennsylvania, the voter participation rate is calculated by taking the sum of votes cast for President, as reported by the Pennsylvania Department of State, divided by the total voting age population as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in its American Community Survey (ACS) and population estimates. For the U.S., this is calculated by taking the sum of votes cast for President, reported by the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC), divided by the total voting age population as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in its American Community Survey (ACS) and population estimates.

The Nitty-Gritty Details

U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC), Election Results
Pennsylvania Department of State, Election Statistics
U.S. Census Bureau, American Fact Finder

Subcategories

This EVS indicator has no subcategories.

Peer Areas

Data are available based on geographical location.

Frequency

Every election

Source

U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC), Election Results
Pennsylvania Department of State, Election Statistics
U.S. Census Bureau, American Fact Finder

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