Get Out And Vote

If you do one thing today, please make it a trip to the voting booth. You probably know by now that I am going to cast a vote for Barack Obama and I’ve tried on numerous occasions to explain why. But how I vote is not nearly as important as the number of people who vote today. We are a democracy, we pick our leaders, and every citizen in this country can vote. That includes women, minorities, naturalized citizens, and a host of others who have fought for and won the right to vote. Please go exercise it.

I heard on the weekend news shows that we might see 135mm people cast a vote this year. If so, it’s a big move up. Here’s some data I pulled together this morning, going back to the 1960 election, a year before I was born.

Votes

You’ll note that I am projecting Obama to get 10mm more votes than McCain today. We’ll see if that in fact happens, but I am optimistic. This chart shows that we’ve witnessed a significant increase in voters in the past three elections. That is good news. But to really see what’s going on you need to factor this by total population which I did in the following chart.

Population

This chart shows that if I am right about the 135mm votes this election, the percentage of the US population (as measured by the census) who votes will have increased from 35% where it has largely been stuck for 40 years to almost 45%.

Well that is still pretty pathetic that less than half of the people who live in the US care enough to register and vote. But it’s progress.

If you figure that voting age citizens are about 62.5% of all citizens (taking out the kids – thanks Krassen and Dan), then this means that more than 70% of voting age citizens might vote this year. That’s a strong number and makes me feel good about america today.

So please do as this song I posted to my tumblog today suggests, please vote!