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Voter Turnout by Country

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Voter Turnout Worldwide

The expression of democratic freedoms invariably manifests itself through the medium of voting. This momentous act produces reverberations that ripple through governments, shaping the course of nations. Voter turnout—the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election—can be both a testament to the strength of a nation's democratic values and an indicator of socio-political complexities. Let’s zoom into the intriguing matrix of global voting patterns, using data from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

Key findings:

  • Rwanda, known for its governmental efforts to enforce voting, holds the top spot with the highest turnout of 98.15%. However, this subjectively high percentage doesn't necessary reflect healthy democratic practices, but rather compulsion and voting irregularities.
  • Turkmenistan, Singapore, Equatorial Guinea, and Togo closely follow Rwanda with voter turnouts of 97.17%, 94.80%, 92.70%, and 92.28% respectively, indicating solid engagement, but again, these nations also face criticisms regarding the freedom and fairness of their elections.
  • Regionally, Asian and African countries showcase higher voter turnout, but this phenomenon often correlates with a prevalence of authoritarian regimes, where voting isn't truly voluntary.
  • The United States, one of the most influential democracies globally, lags behind at the 42nd position with a voter turnout of 70.75% in the most recent presidential election, reflecting the complexity even established democracies face in enhancing voter participation.
  • Notably, the lowest voter turnout rests with Haiti, which sits at 18.11% underlining socio-economic hurdles, political instabilities, and mistrust in public institutions that deter voters.

Countries with Highest Voter Turnout

Rwanda tops the list with an impressive 98.15% voter turnout. This small east African nation, however, is known for its compulsory voting laws and has faced scrutiny over allegations of voting irregularities and the repression of political opposition. 

Turkmenistan follows with a voter turnout of 97.17%, a startlingly high number that raises questions given the nation's widely criticized lack of genuine political competition. Singapore, with a turnout of 94.80%, has compulsory voting laws that seek to hold citizens accountable for participating in national elections. 

Equatorial Guinea and Togo, with respective voter turnouts of 92.70% and 92.28%, further showcase the trend of high voter turnouts in countries battling with political freedom concerns. Yet, high turnout does not automatically indicate electoral malpractices. Uruguay, an established democracy, garners a laudable turnout of 90.13%, portraying a politically engaged citizenry. 

Countries With Highest Voter Turnout:

  1. Rwanda - 98.15%
  2. Turkmenistan - 97.17%
  3. Singapore - 94.80%
  4. Equatorial Guinea - 92.70%
  5. Togo - 92.28%
  6. Angola - 90.37%
  7. Uruguay - 90.13%
  8. Gambia - 89.34%
  9. Maldives - 89.22%
  10. Seychelles - 88.45%

By Country

Full Data Set

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