JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Despite record-breaking voter turnout this election, the U.S. still trails most developed democracies when it comes to getting people to the polls.
This year, more voters have more choices than ever.
COVID-19 has forced many states to expand the way people can vote, making it easier.
But the record turnout we’re seeing this year is not the norm.
According to the Pew Research Center, 55.7 percent of the voting-age population voted in 2016, ranking the U.S. at 26 out of 32 developed democratic nations.
Dr. Michael Binder, faculty director, Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida, said there’s one thing the U.S. improved on this year.
“Extending the time frame in which people can vote,” Binder said. “Georgia has had early, in-person voting for a while, but they’ve really expanded their vote by mail this time around; other states have as well,”
Many companies are also making it so employees don’t have to choose between going to work or going to vote.
Blue Apron is giving all its employees Election Day off with pay.
More than 2,000 U.S. corporations including Walmart, Apple and Action News Jax’s parent company Cox Media Group are giving paid time to employees to vote or volunteer as poll workers.
“This is not something we’ve seen in the past, it’s a new development, and I think it’s a very positive one,” Binder said.
When it comes to making Election Day a federal holiday, Dr. Binder said he’s for anything that gets more people to the polls.