Thursday, November 06, 2008

Election Turnout.

This needs to be confirmed with the final numbers, but as of now it seems that the percentage of Americans who voted this year's historic presidential elections may reach the highest level in four decades (since 1968).
About 133.3 million people cast ballots — or about 62.5% of the electorate, said Michael McDonald, a leading voter-turnout expert at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. (Wall Street Journal)


Interestingly, the French presidential elections last year also saw a record turnout : it was 74%. (Wash Post)

I have a few ideas why the French vote more than the Americans : traditionally the French are more political (they talk about it more out in public), the French always vote on a Sunday (so you don't need to tale some time off work), it's a smaller country and the voting system is a lot easier to understand. In France you vote only for one election at a time when in the U.S., it is obviously more complex.
The downside: most authorities (judges, police, etc...) are not not elected but appointed in France, which is less democratic.

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