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Past Event

Voter Mobilization and Turnout

With the controversy over the 2000 presidential election still fresh in the national memory, and with polls continuing to project a very close race on November 2, the issue of voter turnout has been at the forefront of discussions about what sways election results. Questions that frame analyses of turnout include:

  • Why is turnout lower in the United States than in other advanced democracies?
  • How have turnout rates been changing for the electorate as a whole and for specific social groups? What are the implications of those trends for the two major political parties?
  • What are partisan and nonpartisan groups doing to stimulate higher turnout, and how effective will those efforts be?

On the Friday before the election, the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution and the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs will hold a panel discussion on voter turnout with political scientists from around the country and Wall Street Journal reporter Jeanne Cummings. The event is the fourth in a series of roundtable discussions on the election sponsored by Brookings and Princeton.


Moderated by



Larry Bartels

Director, Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, Donald E. Stokes Professor of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University


Michael P. McDonald

Former Brookings Expert

Associate Professor of Political Science - University of Florida

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