08-25-2022 Voter Participation

Key Input to Boost Voter Turnout and Impact in Local Elections

The turnout for local elections in the US is historically both low and less representative of community demographics. In 1956 voter turnout in Florida for the Primary election was 66%, the highest Florida Primary Election turn out ever. By the 70’ties voter participation dipped into the 3os. In 1998 it dropped to 17% - the lowest Florida has ever seen. Since the 2000 primary election participation ranges from 18% to 29%.

Civic engagement happens wherever there are people. Key Biscayne has a strong culture of engagement where residents, organizations, government recognize and value engagement and community-decision making. Overall, it created one of the safest and finest communities in the state. Most neighbors here consider Key Biscayne a refuge and paradise community.

Key Biscayne traditionally has above-average voter turn-out – and we should be proud of that. Yet – there is room for improvement and work to be done. Higher voter participation is critical to better representation and to overall acceptance of election results. High voter turn-out helps ease into initiating and developing the processes required to work with different fractions of residents who supported other candidates.

Overall US voter turn-out for local elections low, but it is likely to be even less representative of the income, age and ethnicity of the community. Affluent voters have 30-50 percent higher turnout in local elections than low-income voters. Those 65+ are seven times more likely to vote in local elections than voters aged 18 to 34.  The median age of local election voters is in the 60s, with the average in cities such as Miami, Las Vegas and Fort Worth as high as 66-68 years old.

Implementing strategies that better connect residents with local races and issues can lay the groundwork for a more gratifying election experience and help influence those who typically vote only in major federal or state elections to increase their local election engagement. The time to plan and implement strategies to increase voter engagement in local elections is now.

Please share your ideas and suggestions to improve voter engagement on Key Biscayne and throughout Miami-Dade: info@GoVoteMiami.org

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