As the world continues to revel in the most hopeful and historic election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, other positive developments are shining through. One I'd like to note, as a follow-up to my Do you know how to vote? post, is this: in this 2008 election, the U.S. has had its highest voter turnout ever in the last 48 years.
More than 148 million voters cast their ballots, which equals to 64.1% of the voting-age electorate.
Take a look at this chart, National Voter Turnout in Federal Elections, which features statistics from 1960. (For presidential election years, the stats are in boldface. Mid-term elections, nationally held to elect Congress members and for state/local governments, are in plain type.) So inspiring! Our voting electorate has been completely re-energized across age, race, and economic groups; almost 26 million more voters turned out in 2008 than they did in 2004.
After finding and being moved by these significant voting stats, I stumbled across the above photo on Flickr and had to feature it. Before I began writing this post, I read an article in The Washington Post titled "U.S. Hailed Again as Country of Dreams", and this photo expresses much of the gratitude many worldwide are feeling based on Obama's win.
So, I must say this again: thank you for voting! It has made all the difference in the world.