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Voter turnout highest since '68

WASHINGTON -- Deep divisions over the war in Iraq and intense voter registration drives pushed turnout for the 2004 presidential election to 60.7 percent, the highest level since 1968, the Center for the Study of the American Electorate said yesterday.

In 1968, when Republican Richard Nixon beat Democrat Hubert Humphrey, 61.9 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. Turnout stayed below 60 percent during the eight presidential elections in between.

Turnout last year rose by 6.4 percentage points over 2000, the biggest election-to-election increase since 1952.

Overall, 122.3 million people voted in the Nov. 3 elections, according to the center. But 78 million eligible people did not vote.

Turnout in Massachusetts was 64.6 percent.

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