Monday, October 24, 2011

Military Voting in the 2010 Election

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) just released its findings about how military personnel participated in the 2010 election.  In short, military voters are going to the polls at a higher rate than civilian voters. Even more remarkable is that since a majority of military personnel are under the age of 30, an age group that typically does not turn out to vote at all, the military vote becomes even more important.

From the FVAP report summary:

In 2010, 85% of active duty personnel were registered to vote.  That is compared to 65% of the civilian population adjusted for age and gender.  This is a 1.2 % decrease from what was reported in 2008.

In 2010, 46% of active duty personnel participated in the election (cast a vote).  That is compared to 46% of the civilian population adjusted for age and gender.  Since turnouts are historically lower for mid-term elections than for presidential elections, it makes more sense to compare the 2010 results to the 2006 mid-term election.  In that case, the military turnout increased by 7% while the civilian turnout decreased by 4.8%.

However, it is not all good news.  Some 29% of active duty military voters said they never received their requested absentee ballots, an increase of 16% over the reports of 2008.   This indicates a remarkable disenfranchisement of some 120,000 potential voters.

I will post more as I dig into the report and the detailed data.  Anyone else doing the same is welcome to post here or point me to your own reporting.