CNN.com reports a "record" voter turnout for Tuesday's U.S. presidential election: citing Curtis Gans of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, the article says: "Gans put the total turnout at nearly 120 million people. That represents just under 60 percent of eligible voters -- the highest percentage turnout since 1968, Gans said."
"Just under 60 percent of eligible voters"--it sticks in my throat. Why would there be such a low "record" turnout? Is it really possible that 40% of eligible voters didn't see enough of a difference between Bush and Kerry to bother going out to vote? Last Sunday's Washington Post Magazine has an article interviewing a nonvoter (registration required) that suggests as much. The election--and the government itself--seems a long way from the concerns of these people. Perhaps the problem of nonvoters has more to do with the choices than with the eligible voters themselves.