Did you know that less than a quarter of eligible voters decided the 2016 election? That’s right. An underwhelming 26% of voters actually supported President Trump in 2016. In contrast, about 43% of eligible voters didn’t vote at all.
Things all changed in 2020.
This year, voter turnout reached unprecedented levels. About 66.9% of voters cast ballots this year, which breaks a 120-year-old record. We haven’t seen this kind of voter turnout since 1900!
Are you curious to find out what’s driving so many people to the polls? Read on to learn five reasons why we’re seeing unprecedented voter turnout in 2020.
1. Polarized Parties and Division Drives up Participation
Have you ever heard the saying that both the Republican and Democratic parties are two wings of the same bird? This seemed to be true for decades until President Trump came along.
President Trump offers voters an alternative to mainstream parties, but that’s caused a lot more division than in the past. With the Republicans moving further right and Democrats going further left, voters in the middle feel forced into choosing a side.
Is it any wonder that the Presidential vote count was so high now that there’s no moderate candidate or position to vote for?
The division and polarization have led to desperation. Some Americans are even protesting to demand closure to the election.
2. Inclusion of Minorities and Fringe Groups
Another claim to fame for President Trump in 2016 was giving a voice to fringe groups. Individuals who were formerly not invested in the system, like conspiracy theorists, were suddenly given a voice. That drove voter turnout for specific groups of individuals.
By 2020, both parties used this method. Both the Republicans and Democrats have aimed to be the party of inclusivity, which extends to voters who have historically been disenfranchised.
Votes in the 2020 election reached unprecedented highs because both parties recruited minorities and fringe groups that typically don’t vote. This includes a good chunk of third-party voters, who likely made the swap to a traditional party this year.
3. Mail-In Ballots
Another reason why so many votes were cast this year is because of the mail-in ballot system. Due to the pandemic, voting via mail this year was easier than ever.
In Michigan alone, over 3 million Americans requested mail-in ballots. Voting via mail increases voter turnout because it’s easy to do. Many voters in 2020 didn’t have to drive to the polls, wait in line, or inconvenience themselves. Instead, they simply dropped their vote off in a mailbox.
4. Dissatisfaction With the Status Quo
We all know why President Trump was so popular in 2016. He appealed to people who weren’t happy with the status quo. His ‘outsider’ persona was what many people thought American politics needed.
As we fast forward to 2020, an even greater number of Americans find themselves disliking Trump’s ‘new normal’. The impacts of questioning the mainstream narrative and the status quo aren’t pleasant. Many Americans find themselves confused, shocked, and unsure where to turn. A return to the past political status quo is now being welcomed with open arms by voters.
Did you know that the Covid-19 pandemic is causing an unspoken crisis, too? Americans are very fearful and anxious right now. Since 2016, it’s felt like the world is in a constant state of upheaval. 2020’s pandemic situation hasn’t made things any easier. Experts say mental health concerns, like anxiety and depression, are escalating.
More Americans came out to vote this year because they’re driven by fear. There’s a lot to be afraid of right now. From the continuing virus situation to significant civil unrest, many Americans just want things to go back to normal.
Will Voter Turnout in 2020 Become the Norm?
Voter turnout in 2020 was unprecedented for a lot of reasons. In a nutshell, Americans are less apathetic and more engaged due to our current situation. We’re anxious, divided, and looking for a change.
Are you worried about your financial future due to the current state of the nation? You’re in good company. If you’re concerned about the US dollar, it’s a good idea to diversify your portfolio. Now is a good time to invest in gold and silver to secure your financial future.