We have now reached the point at which we can say that more votes have been cast this year than in 2012, according to the Cook Report. I wonder if the media narrative will be able to assimilate the actual facts about voter turnout in this election as those facts keep getting updated until all the votes are counted and certified.
Of course, this does not yet mean the turnout percentage was equal to 2012. But here too, it appears that as the votes continue to be counted, we are likely to end up with a turnout level that is about the same as last time — perhaps just a bit under.
The U.S. population (and voting-eligible population) continues to increase. The voting-eligible population is about 4% higher than in 2012, according to Election Project. If we assume that 59% of that population would actually vote, based on the 2012 turnout rate, then for turnout percentage to equal that in 2012, we would need the number of total votes cast in 2016 to be about 134.9 million. The current best estimate, from Election Project here, is that 134.5 million votes will have been cast this year.