The 2016 presidential election is coming upon us, and Virginia is scheduled to vote in the general election on November 8. Every non-convicted (and recently some convicted) citizen over the age of 18 has the right to vote, but a lot of people choose not to exercise this right.
Virginia has around 6.5 million eligible voters and of those there are 5,354,785 that are registered to vote. Among those registered to vote are 116,445 inactive voters, meaning they haven’t voted in a federal election in two years and have failed to acknowledge postcards mailed to their homes. This means about 80 percent of eligible voters in Virginia are actively registered to vote in November.
If this seems like a lot, then take into consideration that many of those people will not vote. The percentage of the 245,273,438 Americans eligible who actually vote is 57.5, and the state with the highest voter turn-out rate is Minnesota with 75 percent of eligible voters. Voters give a variety of reasons for not voting, but the top four are 17.5 percent too busy; 14.9 percent too ill; 13.4 percent not interested in voting; and 12.9 percent who lack support for any particular candidates. The most active voting age group voting is 65-74, whereas lowest voting age group is 18-24.
Virginia has 13 Electoral College votes, compared to states as large as California (55 Electoral College votes). Virginia has 2.5 percent of the total Electoral College votes, but can make up to 5 percent of the votes needed to win,due to the election being decided by two Electoral College votes (two more votes than the opponent to reach 270), Virginia’s votes count and your participation counts. All of Virginia’s votes go to one party, therefore one Electoral College shift in support could change all 13 votes.
Virginia’s additional votes are more valuable than ever because the state is shifting from a more Republican state to a slightly more Democrat state. From 1996 to 2004, Virginia had a majority of Republican voters. There were roughly the same amount of republicans in 1996 as today, but the undecided people have adopted Democrat views or voting preferences.
If the race is as close as it could be, then eligible voters who, normally don’t vote, could make the difference. If you aren’t registered to vote, you must register before June 14 to be eligible to vote in the general election. The process is not difficult and can be completed online.
Don’t remain unheard!