The United States ranks 120th of the 169 countries for which data exists on voter turnout, falling between the Dominican Republic and Benin, according to a January 2012 study from the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. (Not all countries ranked were democracies, a factor that could skew the results.)
About 60 percent of eligible voters will likely cast ballots Tuesday (Nov. 6), a lower percentage than in most other Western democracies, said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University. [The Strangest Elections in US History]
Experts say the low turnout results from how often Americans conduct elections, the inconvenience of voting and the reality that each individual vote doesn't count for much.