Get Out the Vote: Know the Facts

With the 2016 general election approaching on November 8th, AIGA Cleveland is participating in the national civic engagement initiative Get Out the Vote. All AIGA members are invited to contribute posters that communicate a voter-mobilizing call to action through nonpartisan visuals and copy.

This year AIGA has organized exhibitions in conjunction with the Republican National Convention (Cleveland, July 1821, 2016), Democratic National Convention (Philadelphia, July 25–28, 2016), and AIGA Design Conference (Las Vegas, October 17–19, 2016). Through these exhibition we showcase how the power of design can be used to motivate the American public to register and turn out to vote.

Voter Turnout in the US is Low

Low Voter Turnout (2)
In fact, it’s among the lowest in the developed world. While approximately 218,959,000 Americans are eligible to vote, only 146,311,000 are registered to vote. 1 Of those registered to vote, an even lower number actually go to the polls on election day.

Why Aren’t People Voting?

Reasons (2)

The most popular reasons cited for not voting are 1 :

• Too busy / conflicting schedule: 17.5%
• Not interested: 13.4%
• Did not like candidates or campaign issues: 12.9%
• Illness or disability: 14.9%

Who IS (and isn’t) Voting?

For the first time ever in 2012, the number of eligible African American voters who voted (66.2%) exceeded the number of eligible caucasian voters who voted (64.1%). Only 48% of eligible Latino voters and 47.3% of eligible Asian American voters voted in 2012.

Women’s voter turnout has exceeded men’s in every presidential election since 1980. In 2012, 63.7% of women voted vs. 59.8% of men.

Wealthy Americans vote at a higher rate than those of lower socioeconomic status. In 2008, only 41% of eligible voters making less than $15,000 a year voted, compared to 78% of those making $150,000 a year or more.

21% of the eligible voting population in the US is 18-29 years old. However, that age group is 20% less likely to vote than those 30 years old and older. 2

How Can We Encourage Voter Registration and Voting?

noun vs verb
Verbiage – Using self-relevant nouns instead of verbs is more effective in getting people to the polls. Being “a voter” affirms a virtuous part of a person’s identity. 3

Election Day Registration – States that allow same day registration consistently lead the nation in voter turnout. In the 2010 election it allowed almost 640,000 Americans to register and vote. 4

Voter Buzz – More people are motivated to vote when they know or have heard voter turnout will be high. 3

Repeat Customers – Those who have voted once are more likely to vote again. 5

Continue the Conversation
For more information about the Get Out the Vote initiative, join us at the Galleries at CSU on Thursday, July 7th for the exhibitions opening night reception, or visit


By Kassey Sikora
Published July 6, 2016