The Voting Rights Act of 1965 aimed to protect the voting rights of racial and ethnic minorities. The act prohibits state and local governments from using certain methods to prevent voter participation, such as requiring voters to pass a literacy test. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the voting-eligible population (VEP) is “the number of people entitled to vote in an election.” The voting-age population (VAP) is “the number of people who are 18 years or older and not incarcerated.” This blog post will explore the difference between VEP and VAP.
What is VEP?
VEP, or voting-eligible population, is a term used to describe the number of citizens in a particular area who are eligible to vote. VEP can be used to measure the potential voters in an election, as well as the overall population of an area.
VEP is often used by political analysts and pundits to gauge the potential outcome of an election. In addition, VEP can also be used to track voter turnout.
For example, if the VEP of an area is low, it may indicate that there is little interest in the election. On the other hand, if the VEP is high, it may indicate that there is a large potential electorate. Either way, VEP is a valuable tool for understanding the dynamics of an election.
What is VAP?
VAP is the voting-age population of a territory. VAP includes all citizens of voting age, including those temporarily absent from the territory (e.g., members of the armed forces, federal employees, and students). VAP excludes non-citizens (e.g., legal aliens, illegal aliens) and persons disenfranchised by law (e.g., felons).
- In the United States, VAP is used as a denominator to calculate various political coefficients such as the index of Dissent, TurnoutIndexes, and VAP/Registration ratios. VAP is also used in congressional apportionment calculations.
- VAP varies by the state due to differing voting age requirements and different rates of voting-age citizens’ overall population.VAP has been criticized as an imprecise measure of the potential electorate because it does not include persons who are ineligible to vote due to felony convictions or other reasons.
- VAP also excludes persons who would be eligible to vote but are not registered. Nevertheless, VAPis the best measure of the potential electorate available for use in political analysis.
Difference between VEP and VAP
One of the most common measures of voting participation is VEP, or voting-eligible population. This measure includes all U.S. citizens who are 18 years of age or older and who are not incarcerated or otherwise ineligible to vote. VAP, or voting-age population, is a slightly broader measure that includes all U.S. citizens who are 18 years of age or older, regardless of their eligibility to vote. VEP is generally seen as a more accurate measure of voting participation, as it excludes those who are ineligible to vote. However, VAP is sometimes used instead, as it provides a more complete picture of the potential electorate.
The Voting Age Population (VAP) is the population of citizens 18 years or older. The Voting Eligible Population (VEP) is the subset of VAP that are registered to vote. In Florida, there are 4,721,023 VAP and 3,971,362 VEP. This means that there are 749,661 potential voters who are not registered to vote in Florida. This difference between WDV and SLM is called the registration gap. There are many reasons for this gap including language barriers and voter suppression tactics. However, we must find ways to close this gap so that every voice can be heard on Election Day.