Nonvoting and the 2012 General Election

Most of the U.S. Census data about voting and registration from the November 2012 general election focus on voters, but it also examines why nonvoters did not vote. The two (of 11 possible) most common reasons were voters being too busy or not being interested in the election.

But election administration problems were a factor as well. Nationwide, 5.5 percent of nonvoters—estimated at more than 1 million—said they did not vote due to registration problems, more than those who said they did not vote because of bad weather, forgetting, or transportation problems. Additionally, nonvoters who lived at their residence for less than a year were more likely to have cited registration problems than those who had lived at their residence for three years or more—11.7 percent and 3 percent, respectively. These numbers are similar to data from 2008.