US Election Turnout -- 61.6% of the Nation's Eligible Voters

The states have finished their tallies and have certified their results. It becomes official tomorrow when the Electoral College meets to elect Barack Obama the 44th President of the United States. All told, the number of voters increased 7.4% in the United States in the 2008 Presidential election over 2004. More than 131 million people voted this time around, the most ever for a Presidential election, compared to a little more than the 122 million who voted in 2004. Overall, 61.6% of the nation's eligible voters turned out to cast their ballots. That's the highest turnout rate since 1968, when Republican Richard M. Nixon defeated Democrat Hubert Humphrey and native son George Wallace. Four years ago in the Bush-Kerry race, 60.1% of those eligible voted.

As a measure of comparison, the electoral turnout rate in Spain's March Parliamentary elections (9-M) was just under 75% (though only 53% voted in the Basque Country) and 59.1% in Canada's recent election. In Canada, the highest voter turnout was in Prince Edward Island, where 69.5% of registered voters cast ballots. The lowest turnout in Canada was in Newfoundland and Labrador, where just 48.1% of registered voters took part.

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