non·​vot·​er | \ ˌnän-ˈvō-tər How to pronounce nonvoter (audio) \
plural nonvoters

Definition of nonvoter

: a person who fails or chooses not to vote or does not have the legal right to vote A mere 37 percent of the eligible electorate voted in the 1986 Congressional elections, the vast majority of nonvoters arguably casting ballots of no confidence.— Richard Caplan

Examples of nonvoter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Young people also make up a big percentage of nonvoters: Only between 40 and 50 percent of the population between the ages of 18 and their mid-20s voted in the 2015 and 2017 elections, compared with about 80 percent of voters in their 70s. Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times, "Young Voters Helped Upend Last U.K. Election. Can It Happen Again?," 8 Dec. 2019 To be sure, this dismissal had little in common with the disaffection of nonvoters or partisan disdain. Wired, "Edward Snowden in His Own Words: Why I Became a Whistle-Blower," 22 Sep. 2019 But not all nonvoters are the same: Nonwhite and Hispanic Americans were more likely to stay home than white voters. Chayenne Polimedio, Vox, "Is voting a civic right or a civic duty?," 6 Nov. 2018 The analysis found 37% of nonvoters are ages 18 to 29, compared with just 12% of people who voted in the midterm election. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "Nonvoters in Midterms More Likely to Be Younger and Less Wealthy Than Those Who Voted," 22 Nov. 2018 For nonvoters, 62% were white while 30% were black or Hispanic. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "Nonvoters in Midterms More Likely to Be Younger and Less Wealthy Than Those Who Voted," 22 Nov. 2018 The survey of 115,936 voters and 22,016 nonvoters was conducted Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, concluding as polls close on Election Day. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "AP VoteCast: Trump a dominant force on voters’ minds," 7 Nov. 2018 But what is described in these fraudulent messages — helping nonvoters vote — would obviously be a violation of Texas election laws (or those of any other state). Dylan Scott, Vox, "Somebody posing as Beto O’Rourke’s campaign sent texts proposing voter fraud," 6 Sep. 2018 That means appealing to their base with more liberal candidates and trying to win over nonvoters who lean left, such as high school students or Latino voters. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "Why Democrats trying to build a blue wave in Texas are leaning left in the primaries," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonvoter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nonvoter

1851, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of nonvoter was in 1851

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Cite this Entry

“Nonvoter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Apr. 2020.

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