The voter turnout rate dropped in New York state, as a percentage of the population, between 1900 and 1915. Two main reasons were listed by the New York Times:
Two principal reasons are given by politicians for the steadily decreasing vote, in proportion to population, during the last decade. The first is the law of 1906 requiring publicity of campaign receipts and expenditures. Under that law contributions for political campaigns are made with the name of the contributors accompanying them. The result has been to reduce the amount of money available for campaign purposes, and the political workers, especially those in the rural districts, complain that they have not sufficient funds with which to get out the vote on election day.
The second reason is the signature law of 1908. Voters in the cities are required to sign their names in a poll book or admit their inability to do so.
The most recent presidential election at the time, 1912, saw 17.32 percent of the New York state population turn out to vote, according to statistics provided in the article. That has gone up significantly since then. With 7,081,536 state votes for president and about 19,607,000 residents in 2012, New York state saw a voter turnout rate of about 36.11 percent of the population.
Big Decline in Total Vote in New York State: Although Population Increased Thirty Per Cent from 1900 to 1915 the Neglect of Citizenship Duty Has Become Noticeable
From August 20, 1916
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