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Beltway Confidential

This GIF depicting voter turnout by state in presidential elections is cooler than you'd expect

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The GIF at the top of this story is fascinating if you enjoy maps, politics or scanning for patterns.

It depicts voter turnout by state in presidential elections from 1980 to 2012.

It's an impressive graphic. It caught my eye on Reddit, and I watched it repeatedly while writing this story. I even took some time and checked the numbers against Census Bureau data to be sure it's accurate. (Note: the legend is a bit small, but red stands for low turnout and green for high turnout -- and the colors are on the spectrum following the ROYGBIV pattern we learned in secondary school.)

There are a wide variety of things you can take away from watching this (and stay tuned for related pieces on voting rights, felon disenfranchisement and the absurdity of the way the Census Bureau presents its data), but sometimes you should avoid claiming a GIF will teach you everything you need to know about anything and you should relax and enjoy something just because it's neat.

Enjoy, and I hope you think it's cool enough to share.

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