Chicory Wealth chimes in on VOTE 2020 with interesting stats, trends, and resources
By Jacob Newcomer, CFP®, Financial Advisor
We hope that voting is something all our eligible clients, friends, and family are planning to do by next month. But did you know that only 55.5% of the Voting Age Population (VAP) voted in 2016? There hasn’t been a presidential election year with greater than 60% turnout since 1968. Now, there are many reasons contributing to this other than apathy, of course. Voter suppression tactics run rampant in this country and have for many years. All you have to do is look at the dismal approval ratings for legislators in this country to know we have a representation problem. The U.S. also trails most developed countries in voter participation. If we can’t improve voter turnout, how will we ever achieve progress in the quality of representation in the halls of state governments and Washington? Well … 2020 has the potential to improve this statistic.
Professor Michael McDonald, who heads the United States Elections Project at the University of Florida, predicts a surge of around 10% this year up to 65.5% of the VAP, based on his analysis. (Check out the Elections Project website for lots of interesting data.) There has been more advertising, discussion, and overall buzz about voting this year, it seems anecdotally, than in the past several elections. You’ve probably been living under a rock if you aren’t sure why. The stakes feel high and nearly everyone is talking about it. If Professor McDonald is correct, this would be the highest percentage since 1908 and a step in the right direction, if we can hold those gains.
Speaking of 1908, women were not universally allowed to vote then. Crazy right? This year actually marks the 100th anniversary of women being allowed to vote in this country via the 19th amendment. It is sometimes hard to believe how slow progress has been on making voting available to all American citizens who are of voting age. Here is a comprehensive timeline that shows other significant dates for voting rights and just how long it took for much of the progress we enjoy today (which is still not enough). The fight continues under the surface in state legislatures, courtrooms, and across the country.
The voting population is becoming more diverse and access to voting often skews across racial lines. The events of 2020 have illuminated the divides that still exist along these lines in the minds of many Americans. These shifts have not been welcomed by all, and much work remains. That work begins in many places and one of them is at the polls.
Do YOU have a plan to vote? Make your plan today.
Due to the fact that we are still in a global pandemic, your plan may be different than it was in the past, and we want to make sure you have the information you need. You can find comprehensive information on how you can vote in every state in America here. If you vote by mail, avoid the common errors that can cause your ballot to not be counted. And if you run into any issues trying to vote, know your rights and where you can find help. This is a great site to read and keep handy when voting.
Photo by Elements 5 Digital from Unsplash