Voter turnout predictions
As YNN's Katie Gibas reports, political science experts say how many people actually turn out to vote depends on a number of factors including the candidates and state of the country.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- National Voter Registration Day was earlier this week, but getting people signed up to vote in this year's elections is only half the battle. The other half is actually getting them to the polls. According to political science experts, the number of people that actually turn out to vote depends on a number of factors, including the candidates and state of the country.
Groups across the country are working around the clock to register people to vote before the deadline on October 12.
"In the past couple days where we've been out, because we've been in the Schine Student Center, we've gotten about 100," said Gabriella Rusk, a sophomore at Syracuse University.
But, getting people registered is only part of increasing voter turnout. Political scientists said some structural changes to making registration and voting more accessible would help. But, they said there needs to be a bigger effort to engage citizens.
"It always critical that people vote. And I think it's always critical that we have as high a turn out rate as can be reasonably expected," said Grant Reeher, a Maxwell Political Science Professor.
However, the amount of people who will actually turn out on election day depends on a number of factors. Who is running and the current state of the country can have a profound effect.
"Is the level we saw in 2008 going to sustain itself in 2012? There has been a lot written about the enthusiasm levels being lower for both of these candidates," said Reeher.
Kristi Andersen, a Maxwell Political Science Professor added, "Most people believe that the turnout will be comparable to, or perhaps a little lower than 2008."
Since the 1960s, voter turnout has consistently decreased. From 1960 to 1996, voter turnout dropped more than ten percent. In the last several presidential elections, it has rebounded slightly.
"2008, if you read the publicity, you'd think that turnout went up a whole lot. It went up a bit. And actually turnout has been kind of climbing back up after it declined back to many years. Now it's creeping back up. It's still not very high," said Andersen.
We'll have to wait just about a month to find out if those predictions are accurate when voters cast their ballot November 6th.
To register, visit www.elections.ny.gov