Voter turnout in the U.S. is typically much lower than you might expect, lagging behind that of other developed democratic countries around the world.
A 2018 Pew Research Center study looked at the percentage of the voting-age population who participated in the most recent national election in 32 countries. The U.S. came in at No. 26, with only 56% of voting-age Americans casting ballots in the 2016 election. (The percentage of the voting-eligible population who participated was higher at 60%, according to the United States Election Project. The voting-eligible metric excludes voting-age people who can’t cast a ballot because they’re not citizens or they have a felony conviction.)
Regardless of which metric you look at, it’s clear that a very large swath of the country that could vote doesn’t. You can make a difference, however small, by encouraging your friends and family to cast ballots this year and beyond.