While the largest turnout of voters in the US in the 2008 elections was from the Midwest, the largest increase in voters in elections between 2004 and 2008 was in the Southern states. Analysts suggest that the upward trend in the south is due to African American voters participating in elections for the first time. There has been an overall increase in the percentage of voters participating in presidential elections over the past decade: In 1996, only 49% percent of eligible voters actually cast a ballot. That number increased to 57% in 2008.
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