Getting to 100%: How changing the election date can improve voter turnout
02.1.2015 / By Sarah Swanbeck, Leila Pedersen, Hinnaneh Qazi, Kathay Feng
One of the greatest barometers for waning civic engagement in American politics is declining voter turnout in federal, state, and municipal elections. There are many potential contributing factors: general cynicism about government and elected officials, a decline in investment in civics education, and an increasingly transient society. Yet there is one major contributing factor to low
voter turnout – the timing of elections – that could be addressed with a relatively simple policy change.
The Public Policy Institute of California surveyed 350 California cities and found that simply moving an election to be synchronized with the even year state elections can result in a 21-36 percent boost in voter turnout for municipal and other local elections.