Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Who is voting?

The numbers of votes begin to come in. So, who's voting and who's not?

In District 7, a total of 5077 votes have been counted. Though they were just trickling in during the middle of the month, they're now coming in a flood.

In the first two days after ballots were sent, the Electoral Commission received an average of 418 votes per day. The subsequent week, the numbers dipped to just 246 per day. But during the last four days, they began to peak again, reach 555 per day.

Of course, there are disparate records in the different neighborhoods. Whereas neighborhoods like Overland, Speer, and Athmar Park are voting at less than 4%, Platt Park and West Wash Park are hovering around 20%.

For fun, I mashed these numbers against Piton data to find patterns. Details such as the number of persons per household, percentage of elderly, percentage of persons in poverty, percentage of owner-occupied homes, and crime rate were all very bad predictors of these voting percentages.

What did correlate well? Average household income. The chart below shows the average income in blue and voting rates in red:

What does this tell us? Simply that the richer they are, they more they're voting. In fact, if you wanted to get really cynical, you'd wonder whether poor folks are being disenfranchised by the process.

It may not be much of a newsflash, but it's certainly important. Rich folks are deciding the fate of our government, to detriment of the less fortunate.

God bless America.


Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

The story is in the exceptions to the rule. Ruby Hill and Valvedere are exceptionally well organized politically, University is exceptionally underorganized.

One expects tht lots of students in the active voting population explains University's slacker performance. My guess for Ruby Hill and Valvedere would be either well organized older citizens, or high levels of union membership.

Dave Burrell said...

Good point. However, I think you've mistaken the data just a bit. I've added a graph to show the situation a lot more viscerally.

What this shows is just two real outliers: Rosedale as exceptionally well-organized, and Valverde as exceptional disorganized.

And of course, all of the really poor areas are very poorly represented.

Dave Burrell said...

Oops, said that backwards: Rosedale is disorganized and Valverde is organized.

Sorry 'bout that.