Voter participation, or voter turnout, is the percentage of eligible, registered voters who cast a ballot in an election.
Civic participation encompasses a wide range of formal and informal activities. Participating in the electoral process by voting or registering others to vote is an example of civic participation that impacts health. A study of 44 countries (including the United States) found that voter participation was associated with better self-reported health, even after controlling for individual and country characteristics.
Many different strategies can promote civic participation, including encouraging young people to be active in their community is important for promoting life-long civic participation. One study found that high school students involved in community service are more likely to vote and volunteer in adulthood. Initiatives like AmeriCorps, which are designed to help young adults serve their communities, have been shown to increase civic participation later in life as well.[5, 71, 72]
Community Focus Areas:
Identifying ways to encourage and offer same day registration for unregistered voters
Promoting and increasing access for early voting