According to mlive.com, in the 2016 Presidential election Michigan voters submitted 76% more undervotes than they did in 2012:

87,810: Number of voters this election who cast a ballot but did not cast a vote for president. That compares to 49,840 undervotes for president in 2012.
- Michigan's 2016 presidential election by the numbers by Julie Mack 11/10/17

Yet it's hard to tell if a 76% increase in undervotes is noteworthy, without first knowing how much MI's, (or any state's), undervote numbers tend to fluctuate over successive elections.

By how much have the average state's undervotes varied over the the last 30 years of elections?

New: If the average state question is currently too difficult, I'll settle for Michigan's average undervotes over the last 30 years, (along with the data from which that average is computed).

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    I was concerned that the undervotes in Wayne County (about 20k in 2016, or one in forty ballots) in particular might correlate with trouble with the voting machines reported in the Detroit Free Press. But of course the large number might also correlate with people just hating their choices. – user2309840 Dec 8 '16 at 4:45
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    One more comment: From the Michigan State Board of Elections website, I can get the percentage undervote back to 2000: ('16, 1.55%), ('12, 1.04%), ('08, 0.74%), ('04, 0.75%), ('00, 1.09%). A full answer to your question -- 30 years, all 50 states -- would interfere with my day job, unfortunately. – user2309840 Dec 8 '16 at 5:33
  • @user2309840, question newly modified for simply a Michigan answer, so if you can assemble the rest of the MI numbers in an answer, there's a bounty for that. – agc Dec 18 '16 at 19:08

Still not spanning the 30-year timeframe but rather now spanning the entire country: Washington Post

I haven't found a way extend the Michigan data gathering started by @user2309840, but I have found other evidence relative to the somewhat broader question: "How can we track voter engagement in the Presidential elections?" You also might be interested in the minor party votes for which there is a much better record going back to 1900: PDF

The Libertarian Party had a big surge. More than double what it had been getting in earlier elections: PDF

The US Census Bureau (PDF) might be a place to search. This only tabulates voting rates versus population, but suggests there might be further resources if we dig.

The US census map for 2016 (and other years if you select them).

... and the historical trends (PDF).

  • Might be useful, but this Q. is pretty undervote-centric. I'm interested in undervotes as a possible correlate with fraud, unreliable voting machines, or both, as well as with what sort of people got elected. – agc Oct 10 '18 at 22:02

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