Voting is a core function of citizenship in the United States. Some may question the usefulness of the individual vote in our current political and social climate, claiming that one vote makes little difference compared with the myriad of other influences on the outcome of a political campaign. The individual vote is the voice of the individual, but a group of individuals holds significant sway over the course of a campaign.
A low rate of voter registration may reflect many phenomena: apathy among residents toward public policy issues, widespread dissatisfaction with the political process and its players and/or difficulties in registering to vote. A high rate of voter registration is usually viewed as a sign of an engaged community. However, a large number of registered voters do not necessarily lead to a high voter turn-out in every election.
This indicator measures the share of the voter-eligible population in Chelan and Douglas counties, both individually and combined, who are registered to vote. Washington State is offered as a benchmark.
Where are we?
During 2016, the share of the eligible population that was registered to vote in:
- Chelan and Douglas counties combined was 70.4 percent, increasing from 70.0 percent in 1995.
- Washington State was 74.9 percent, increasing from 71.0 percent in 1995.
— Source: State Office of the Secretary of State: Elections & Voting
The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis is a multi-college program at Eastern Washington University. The institute, staff and students, gathered the statistical data, wrote the explanations and designed the Chelan-Douglas Trends website.