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Means of calculating voter turnout can vary slightly from country to country, though in all countries, it is expressed as a percentage.

Generally in the western world, the official turnout given is the total number of valid, spoiled and blank (including absentee or overseas) votes cast as a percentage of all eligible (i.e. registered) voters. Normally, people who did not register to vote are not counted as eligible voters.

In jurisdictions where one does not need to register to vote or where voting is compulsory, turnout can be expressed as a percentage of the total number of adults in the country who are not disqualified (usually through imprisonment) from voting.

Some jurisdictions do not include blank or spoiled votes in turnout and treat them as abstentions; most, however, do.

For example:

A constituency has 700 adults of voting age in it. 500 of them register to vote. Of these 500, 300 turn out to vote for a candidate on election day and 50 turn out to spoil their ballot. 300 + 50 is 350, and 350 of 500 is 70.0%, so in most countries the official turnout in this example would be reported as 70.0%, even though only 50.0% of all possible voters cast ballots.

It is worth noting that in France and some other nations, it is sometimes more common to describe how many people did notturn out to vote (the abstention rate) instead. This is another way to describing turnout; in the above example, the abstention rate would have been 30.0% The calculation is precisely the same, except the goal is to describe how many people did not vote as opposed to how many did, again as a percentage of the total possible number of registered voters.

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∙ 12y ago
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∙ 9y ago

The official turnout for an election is calculated by taking the total number of people who voted and dividing by the # of people who are eligible to vote.

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Q: How is the official turnout for an election calculated?
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