Who Votes in Arizona

Posted on January 31, 2018 • Category: Civic Health


Arizona women voted at a higher percentage (64.2%) than
Arizona men (56.5%) in the 2016 general election by a considerable margin.

Arizona Civic Health Index™, 2016 Results

National Conference on Citizenship


The importance of voter turnout is undeniable. It decides who is elected to serve the people of this state at local, state and national levels. This brief looks at the demographics of voting in Arizona – by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and veteran status.

While overall voter turnout in Arizona (60.4%) is only slightly lower than the national average (61.4%), some Arizona population groups are voting at higher rates than national averages. Arizona women are one significant example. Voter turnout among women not only surpassed men in 2016 by nearly 8 percentage points, it also contrasts sharply with voter turnout in the 2012 general election.

In that election, voter turnout among Arizona women (55.3%) was slightly lower than turnout for Arizona men (56.6%). The 2016 election shows an increase among Arizona women of 9 percentage points.


The latest results from the Arizona Civic Health Index™ provide insights about Arizona’s participation in the 2016 general election.

Key Results:

  • The percentage of Arizonans who voted in 2016 was higher than in any general election since CFA has been able to track data.
  • Overall voter turnout in Arizona is slightly below the national average but not as far below as in previous general elections.
  • Arizonan’s who are female have a higher voter turnout than male citizens. So do older Arizonans, non-Latinos and those with more education and income.
  • Surprisingly, AZ veterans lag the national average for veterans by almost 6 percentage points.


Who Voted in the 2016 General Election?



The challenge is that America slipped for the first time from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy” according to the 2016 Democracy Index. Published annually by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the study uses a set of 60 indicators to provide a worldwide snapshot of democracy as practiced today. According to the Democracy Index, in addition to confidence in government, voter turnout in a “full democracy” exceeds 70%.

In 2016, female voters in nine states achieved that benchmark: Colorado (70.7%), District of Columbia (77.2%), Maine (75.8%), Minnesota (70.2%), Mississippi (70.1%), Nebraska (71.6%), Virginia (71.0%), Washington (71.2%) and Wisconsin 72.0%). At 64.2%, Arizona women showed great gains.

Future briefs will explore more deeply the trends that are emerging in political participation as CFA continues its work to ensure that all Arizonans understand the importance of helping their communities and state. The briefs will also detail the tools, pathways and opportunities available through CFA’s civic health initiatives.



Falling below the 8.0 threshold for a “full” democracy, the U.S. drops to one of 57 “flawed” democracies.
2016 Democracy Index  

The Economist Intelligence Unit, January 25, 2017

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Lattie F. Coor

My Perspective

When CFA set out to build a citizens' agenda for Arizona, we didn't know it would end up placing Arizona at the center of a national struggle to address the challenges confronting democracy today–the growing lack of confidence that citizens have in government and their growing lack of participation in the civic life of our communities and nation.

In many ways, Arizona is a microcosm of these challenges. This fact was made clear in the results of the Gallup Arizona Poll (2009), which identified the deep concerns that Arizonans have about the need for both effective leaders and engaged citizens. CFA is now in the process of building Arizona Progress Meters for each of the 8 citizen goals defined by the people who live here. The culmination of these goals is The Arizona We Want.

The Arizona We Want is a long-term vision and it can be achieved if we work together.

Learn More about how CFA is activating the citizens' agenda for Arizona.

Citizen goals sit at the heart of all we do.

Center for the Future of Arizona
541 East Van Buren, B-5
Phoenix, Arizona 85004-2211
Phone: 602-496-1360
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