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High voter registration numbers in Michigan

straight-party voting
Lars Plougmann
Creative Commons
The Secretary of State says 95.5% of eligible voters are registered

Here are some numbers for you from the Michigan Secretary of State's office.

  • 95.5% - percent of the voting age population in Michigan registered to vote
  • 7.28 million people registered - a record for a Michigan gubernatorial election
  • 7.40 million people - the highest number of registered voters Michigan has ever seen (2008 presidential election)

But just because people are registered to vote doesn't mean they will.
In the last gubernatorial election in Michigan just over half of those registered cast a ballot (50.7%). 

The Secretary of State's office has voter turnout numbers posted on their website going back to 1948.

Since that time, the best turnout in a gubernatorial election in Michigan was in 1962 when 60% of registered voters turned up at the polls.  That's when voters elected Republican George Romney as Michigan's governor.

So why was voter turnout so high that year? Larry Sabato has an interesting post about the 1962 election and how it was influenced by the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Let us know if you know of anything else going on in Michigan that year that drove high voter turnout.


Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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