Historic Midterm Voter Turnout

NonprofitVOTE - The 2018 midterm was a national referendum on the Trump presidency as voters on both sides of the aisle surged to the polls in record numbers.

The midterm voter turnout, at 50.3% nationwide, was the highest it has been in over one hundred years, since 1914.

Every state except Alaska and Louisiana saw an increase in midterm turnout over 2014.

Overall, turnout saw its largest increase over a prior midterm in U.S. history.


Despite the nationwide surge in voting, vast turnout differences between states remain. Election policies that made it harder or easier to vote were a major factor in those turnout differences, even more than political competition.

Same Day Registration

Seven of the top ten states with the highest turnout offer Same Day Registration (SDR).

In contrast, eight of the bottom ten states in turnout cut off voter registration four weeks before the election.

States with SDR policies had turnout rates seven percentage points higher than non-SDR states.

Vote at Home

Three of the four Vote at Home States – Colorado, Oregon, and Washington – ranked in the top ten in turnout. These states send all registered voters their ballot two or more weeks in advance and provide secure and convenient options to return it.

Utah, the fourth and newest state to implement Vote at Home statewide, led the nation in voter turnout growth over 2014.

Automatic Voter Registration

Since 2016, 17 states and the District of Columbia have enacted automatic voter registration policies. The five states* that reported their AVR registration data saw their state’s list of registered voters increase on average four times more over 2014 than 22 states without AVR or SDR policy.

* Alaska, California, Georgia, Oregon, and Vermont

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