The right to vote is arguably one of the most important rights of citizenship in a democratic country like the United States, yet a substantial minority of U.S. citizens chooses not to exercise this right. In this report, we examine how reported voting and registration in the 1996 Presidential election compare with turn out and registration in previous elections. Since a large minority of registered citizens do not vote, we also examine their reasons for not doing so.
For the first time in this report series, we are able to include a section which looks at reported voting and registration, by selected socioeconomic and demographic characteristics among the citizen population, instead of among the voting-age population as presented in previous reports. We also present data which compare voting and registration among native-born and naturalized citizens. The report concludes with a section investigating registration occurring since the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 went into effect in 1995.