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US reaches lowest electoral participation in two decades

By on November 12, 2016

Many attribute U.S. president-elect Donald Trump’s victory to the xenophobia, homophobia and rampant racism that affects the North American nation. Others, however, assure citizens got tired of the country’s electoral system.

Although each of these factors contributed to the presidential result to a certain extent, another factor could have been the main reason for the event that is currently evoking worldwide uncertainty and worry: low electoral participation.

People hold up a sign in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on Nov. 8, 2016 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

People hold up a sign in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on Nov. 8, 2016 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

According to statistics published by CNN Español, only 55% of U.S. citizens with the right to vote went to the ballots on Nov. 8. This data reveals the presidential race between Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton had the lowest voter turnout reported in two decades.

During the presidential elections in 1996, between Democratic nominee Bill Clinton and his Republican opponent Bob Dole, only 53.5% of eligible voters exercised their constitutional right to vote.

To date, 126 million votes have been tabulated. The difference between the current presidential elections and the ones in 2008, in which President Barack Obama became the nation’s first African-American chief executive, consists of 18.7 million votes.

Despite the general advantage in voters, several of the states that led to the Republican tycoon’s victory reflected an increase in participation compared to the 2012 elections. Such is the case of Florida, North Carolina, and Michigan.

The precise number of voters remains unknown, but the percentage of electoral participation isn’t expected to vary substantially.

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