Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The incredibly disappearing (super?) voter

So a curious election to be parsed and parsed.  Of note seems to be the low turnout.  Without looking back at the long historical data explicitly, it is a good guess that it was the lowest number of ballots cast in an Allegheny County election cycle ever.  I bet the presidential campaigns will be parsing the turnout data down to its lowest quantum before November comes around in order to figure out who did, and who didn't, make it the voting booth.  I guess we don't have booths any longer.  

Works out that the election yesterday had 6-7% fewer ballots cast than just last year's primary cycle. It is hard to compare different elections, but there were reasons to vote this cycle. A couple heavily contested congressional races to begin with and at least the rump of what was a competitive Republican primary for president.  Overall though it was far less than half the ballots cast 4 years ago when the Pennsylvania primary was still a big deal in the Democratic race for the Democratic nomination. 

That scale of decline over just a year can't be attributed to a decline in the voting age population in itself...   but I tell you what is a part of it.. There is an ongoing a decline in the population in ages that make up most of the county's supervoters.  Still an older voter demographic I assure you, but when it comes to voter turnout even small changes in elderly demographics gets magnified in the ballot counts.  Worth looking into.

Anyway... here is the recent history in ballots cast in Allegheny County elections.  In this range for sure yesterday was the single lowest ballot count.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would also be interesting to see if the number of registered independent/unaffiliate voters has increased significantly since they can't vote in the PA primaries.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 8:20:00 AM  
Blogger Paz said...

Are you going to do maps? SD-37, HD-22,24?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:15:00 AM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

Old people dying and the closed primary system probably has a lot to do with the decreasing numbers of "supervoters."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

How does the turn out of Rep vs Dem look? Could the low turnout be do to a lack of enthusiasm by Dems?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:46:00 AM  

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