In a recent survey across all 50 states, WalletHub looked at ten key indicators of political engagement ranging from how many individuals registered to vote in 2016 to total political contributions per adult resident.
In the 2016 election, a record number of 137.5 million American’s voted, however that is still only about 61% of the population. It seems one of the factors is income. That same year only 41.4% of registered voters that made less than $10,000 voted, but for those who made over $150,000 80.3% showed up to the polls.
As a country, the U.S. ranks only 26 out of 32 of developed nations that turn out to vote. This could be in part to a lack of emphasis in schools on civic duty.
“Our plan for this election was first ‘Promote the vote,’ over 200 schools in Mississippi are using the materials that we sent to them to teach students to vote,” said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
Hosemann has been visiting schools and teaching students about how the government is like a three-legged stool, made up of the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches. He tells students that what they all have in common is that they’re all elected.
“If we don’t go to the ballot box and it isn’t firm and steady then we won’t have much of a government. Just like if it isn’t steady, a three-legged stool can’t stand up,” said Hosemann.
Students are being taught form 4th to 12th grade about voting practices and are even encouraged to ask their parents who they are voting for in November and why. Hosemann says these questions are important for children to ask because one day they’ll be casting these ballots on their own.
Mississippi ranked number 46. However while “political engagement” may be ranked low, Mississippi was number 2 in most registered voters for the 2016 election, coming second only behind Maine.
31st– % of Electorate Who Voted in 2014 Midterm Elections
50th– Change in % of Electorate Who Actually Voted in 2016 Elections vs. 2012 Elections
47th– Total Political Contributions per Adult Population
18th– Civic Education Engagement
50th– Voter Accessibility Policies
The Secretary of State’s office was also awarded some money from Legislature to cut radio spots to remind folks to get out and vote. These spots include people like Brett Farve, Steve Azar and even an Elvis impersonator.
Not to mention making it possible for service men and women who are deployed to have the ability to vote even if they won’t be home for election day.
Mississippi’s number came up a little when it came to voters ages 18-24 being engaged. Nearly 46.7% of that population is politically engages ranking the state at 15th, and over 77% of Mississippi’s “elderly” population is engaged, pulling them to number 7.
The report also showed that blue states are typically more politically engaged than red states. The current political climate, however, could mean a turn in that number.