According to the Pew Research Voter Turnout Fact Tank
, "About 55.7% of the U.S. voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election, according to newly released Census Bureau figures – a slight uptick compared with 2012, but less than the record year of 2008 and well below turnout levels typical in most other developed democracies." FairVote.org
states that "voter turnout in the U.S. is much lower than most established democracies" and presents research on voter turnout in the United States along with potential steps to increase voter turnout.
At issue are fair representation - with voting disparities according to age, race, education, socioeconomic status - and the increasing impact on elections of special interest groups that have become especially successful at motivating their constituencies. In an age that has seen increasing political fragmentation (See ACCE's Horizon Initiative: Chambers 2025 study
) many chambers are lending their support or even leading efforts to increase voter turnout in their area.
Award-Winning Chamber Examples
- Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's (Tenn.) leadership alumni network spearheads a Get Out the Vote program.
- Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce (N.Y.) support New York City's nonpartisan voter participation initiative, #Promotethevote. The campaign enlists employers to encourage their employees' participation in elections. (New York State law provides citizens with two hours to vote, and requires employers to notify employees about this right.)
- Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce (Wis.) presents Understanding Your November Ballot, an engaging session to get a fuller understanding of what's at stake in the November 8th election. It's a non-partisan review of what you'll find when you enter the voting booth, including state and federal offices and local referendum issues.
- Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce (Texas) has launched two recent voter engagement campaigns, enlisting its membership of 2,000 member businesses to encourage their employees to become informed on the issues facing the region, and to vote.
- Greenville Chamber (S.C.) has partnered with 12 other chambers in #VoteGreenville2016, an initiative to register and turn out voters in 2016.
- Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce (S.D.) provides a variety of resources for the 2016 General Election on their Election Resources webpage.
- Richardson Chamber of Commerce (Texas) provides information about voting as well as election results and legislative alerts on its website.
- Tulsa Regional Chamber (Okla.) is using social media to get out the vote:
- See all Voter Turnout examples in ACCE's Samples Library
Have an example to share? Email to HERO@acce.org
- Employees Vote - The Business-Industry Political Action Committee's effort to help private sector employers and employees engage in the political process. Includes materials for Employee Voter Registration Week. The California Chamber and the Illinois Chamber are among its partners.
- Tips for Increasing Voter Turnout - League of Kansas Municipalities
- Voter Engagement Resource Library - Nonprofit VOTE
Related Chamberpedia Topics
| Government Relations and Public Policy
| Voter TurnoutLast updated: 3/27/2018