Additional information on voter turnout in the United States presidential elections
Despite widespread societal and economic changes voter turnout has generally fluctuated between 50 and 60 percent. Turnouts above 60 percent are rare and have not been witnessed since the middle of the 20th Century when American voter turnout was comparably higher. In the United States voting in presidential elections is not legally mandatory as it is in some countries such as Australia. Therefore, many American voters choose to remain absent from the ballot box every four years.
In contrast to mid-term elections, years in which the bi-annual congressional elections take place in the absence of presidential campaigns, presidential elections enjoy a relatively larger degree of public attention. This difference could be seen to reflect a population who perceives the power of the president to be of greater influence than the country’s congressional house. This perception is particularly apparent among the millennial population of the United States. Although many millennials harbor a substantial level of mistrust toward many major political and civil institutions, the role of president is seen as relatively more trustworthy. This trend may however be subject to change following the departure of President Obama who proved himself popular among the millennial population in successive campaign victories.