More than 360,000 Voters Leave Ballot Blank in Uncontested Alabama Senate Contest

AL 2014 Senate

Alabama 2014 Election Results – U.S. Senate

In the 2014 General Election contest for U.S. Senate in Alabama, more than 360,000 voters left their ballot blank.  The race featured incumbent Senator Jeff Session running for re-election without a named opponent printed on the ballot.  The ballot did include, however, an option to vote for a write-in a candidate.  On November 24, the Alabama Secretary of State certified the 2014 General Election Results, publishing the final tally of the vote as 795,606 for Republican Jeff Sessions (97.25%) and 22,484 write-ins (2.75%). The county-level result, shown at right, is a solid “>90%” in every county, with exception of Macon County, where the write-in tally just cleared 10%.  Full results are available here.

Looking deeper into the data though, its clear that most voters that did not want to vote for the incumbent Senator simply left their ballots blank.

AL 2014 Senate Vote Dropoff

Alabama 2014 US Senate Vote Dropoff

The drop-off vote from Governor to U.S. Senate (the difference in total vote between the two contests) is 362,323 votes (30.6%).  The total Republican Vote for Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate contest is only 5.7% more than Republican Robert Bentley received in the Gubernatorial vote – 795,606 vs. 750,231, a difference of 43,375 – full Gubernatorial results can be seen here. At the county level, the drop-off varies considerably, from the smallest drop-off of 10.4% in Blount County to the largest of 80.5% in Greene County. A map of the results can be seen at right.

Map Key >10% >20% >30% >40% >50% >60% >70% >80%
Dropoff
2014 Governor Republican Vote

Alabama 2014 Gubernatorial  Vote for Republican

In one example, Macon County, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Parker Griffith received 4,830 votes (85.3%) to Robert Bentley’s 829 (14.6%) and three write-in votes – a total of 5,662 votes.  In the U.S. Senate contest, Jeff Sessions, picked up 1,133 votes to 127 write-ins.  The number of blank votes in the U.S. Senate race relative to the Governor’s race 4,402 votes (77.8%).

Predictably, the drop-off correlates with the percentage of vote for Republican, as shown in the map to the right. The sharpness of the magnitude of this correlation may be, in part, due to the existence of the straight-party option.  As seen in this sample ballot, the voter can choose Alabama Democratic Party, Alabama Independence Party, or Alabama Republican Party at the very top of the ballot under “Straight Party Voting”.  If the voter chooses the “Alabama Democratic Party” option, no vote for US Senate is cast.

Map Key >90% >80% >70% >60% >50% >40% >30% >20%
Republican

Shannon County, SD Votes to Change Name

Shannon County, SD

Shannon County, SD

The residents of Shannon County, SD have voted to change the name of the county to Oglala Lakota County.  The vote tally from the November 4th election is

Yes 2,161 80.4%
No 526 19.6%

The process has several more steps until the name change becomes official, including a joint resolution of the South Dakota Legislature followed by a proclamation from the governor.  The name change then becomes official on the first day of the first month following the proclamation.  South Dakota Statute 7-1-71 and Statute 7-1-72 state:

7-1-71.   Legislative resolution to change name. The Governor at the next convention of the annual session of the State Legislature shall communicate the result of an election held pursuant to § 7-1-69 in such county to the presiding officer of each branch of the Legislature, and thereupon the Legislature shall designate by joint resolution the new name of such county.

7-1-72.   Governor’s proclamation of new county name. Upon the designation made by the Legislature pursuant to § 7-1-71, the Governor shall publicly proclaim the result of the election held pursuant to § 7-1-69 and of the new name of the county. The new name of such county shall be in full force and effect on the first day of the month following such proclamation by the Governor.

Shannon County Name Change Precinct Map

Shannon County Change of County Name Precinct Results Map

The vote for the “Shannon County Change of County Name” took place on the same day as the 2014 General Election, but on a separate paper ballot. A sample ballot with question wording may be seen here.

The map at the right shows the full Shannon County precinct result for the vote.  All precincts voted in favor of the change except for Cuny Table, the precinct with the fewest votes in the northwest corner, where they voted against the change 22 to 19.  Five precincts voted with more than 80% in favor.

Map Key >50% >60% >70% >80%
Yes
No

The map key is shown at the right. The table below show the precinct-level data from the vote.

Shannon County Name Change Precinct Results

Precinct Name
Yes Vote
No Vote
Yes %
No %
Total2,16152680%20%
Batesland694362%38%
Cuny Table192246%54%
Kyle2996981%19%
Manderson1502785%15%
Oglala3369079%21%
Pine Ridge 153811682%18%
Pine Ridge 33757583%17%
Porcupine3226284%16%
Rockyford532271%29%

Shannon County was Barack Obama’s best county in the 2012 General Election (see statistics page), where he won with 93.4% of the vote.  Mitt Romney only managed 6.0%.  Full 2012 Shannon County presidential results are available here.

2012 Presidential Election with Six Californias

The Six Californias Initiative is in the news for having submitted signatures for a ballot measure to split the state of California into six smaller states.  How would such a dramatic change have impacted the 2012 General Election for President?

Six Californias Map

Six Californias Initiative Map

The proposed states are defined as follows: Jefferson (red), consisting of 14 counties in the north of the state to the Oregon Border, North California (gold) consisting of 13 counties running north of San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, Silicon Valley (green) consisting of eight counties from Contra Costa to Monterey, Central California (cyan) consisting of 14 counties north of Los Angeles and south of Sacramento, West California consisting of the four counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara, and South California (magenta) consisting of the five counties in the southern part of the state south and east of Los Angeles.

To determine the number of Presidential Electors for the six new states, the representatives apportioned to each state is calculated using the Method of Equal Proportions based on the population figures from the 2010 U.S. Census.  Jefferson would become the seventh smallest state with more population than Delaware but less than Montana any have only one representative. North California would have five, Silicon Valley nine, Central California six, West California 16, and South California 15.  The combined number of representatives of the six Californias is 52, one fewer than the whole of California today.  The one representative lost by the “Californias” is picked up by North Carolina.  However, the six Californias would pick up 10 new U. S. Senators, for a total of 64 electoral votes in all (nine more than the current 55 electoral votes).  The table below shows the breakdown of the total representatives and electoral votes for the proposed states, assuming that the size of the House of Representatives remains at 435.

Proposed State
Population (2010)
Rep
Sen
EV
Jefferson949,240123
North California3,742,229527
Silicon Valley6,597,3329211
Central California4,124,776628
West California11,335,45516218
South California10,504,92415217

The Presidential Election results for these six states are quite interesting.  Three of the states – Jefferson, Central California, and South California - are competitive with a margin of victory less than 3.5%.  Romney wins Jefferson and Central California, while Obama wins the remaining four.  The table below shows the data.

Proposed State
Total Vote
Margin
%
%O
%R
Vote Obama
Vote Romney
Jefferson381,32212,3473.2%46.0%49.3%175,551187,898
N. California1,536,378289,96418.9%57.9%39.0%889,742599,778
Silicon Valley2,590,8141,295,98150.0%73.5%23.5%1,904,135608,154
C. California1,147,44731,0112.7%47.3%50.0%542,933573,994
W. California3,798,6301,385,35536.5%67.0%30.5%2,543,2191,157,864
S. California3,601,22486,3852.4%50.0%47.6%1,798,7051,712,320

The electoral vote breakdown from the six Californias is 11 for Romney and 53 for Obama, with an additional one vote for Romney picked up in North Carolina due to the apportionment of one more representative to North Carolina as mentioned above.  The overall electoral vote total is: Obama 330 to Romney 218.  The national electoral vote map for this scenario is shown below:

Six Californias Scenario 2012 Electoral Vote Map

Six Californias Scenario 2012 Electoral Vote Map

Forum discussion topic is located here.

2012 Election Results Updated for Warrick County, IN

The updated 2012 general election results for Warrick County, IN have been released by the Warrick County Election Office.  On March 3, 2014, it was announced that thousands of ballots were not reported in the 2012 general election due to error.  The new report includes the addition of 3,790 absentee ballots omitted from the original report.  However, the new report omits one military ballot and four provisional ballots (the four provisional ballots were counted in the original report).  For President, the outstanding ballots are statistically similar to the ballots originally counted, with a nearly identical percentage for Romney, a slightly higher percentage for Obama, and only half the percentage for Johnson.  The table below shows the comparison:

Warrick County, IN Ballot Comparison

Candidate
Original
Audited
Change
% Change
Total Ballots24,98428,7703,78615.2%
Mitt Romney15,35117,6802,32915.2%
Barack Obama8,79310,1811,38815.8%
Gary Johnson486523377.6%

All online databases and store files for US President, US Senate, Governor, and US House of Representatives have been updated to reflect this update.

Reports: Warrick 2012 Summary   :   Warrick 2012 Post Audit Summary

Walsh County, ND 2012 Vote Recanvassed in 2013

Walsh County, ND

Walsh County, ND

Walsh County, ND data for 2012 have been updated on the atlas to reflect the recanvass of the results by the County Auditor in April, 2013.  The Auditor said that there were insufficient ballots printed for the 2012 General Election, and to accommodate the voters, photocopies were made and then hand counted.  This resulted in some confusion and the results were recanvassed in April of 2013.  The net result was a small decrease in the official totals across all offices and all candidates.  Romney’s net vote dropped by 157 from 2,813 to 2,656 and Obama lost 139 votes from 2,124 to 1,985.  Similar vote reductions occurred for candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representative, and Governor.

Nebraska 2014 Republican Gubernatorial Primary

Nebraska 2014 Republican Gubernatorial Primary

Nebraska 2014 Republican Gubernatorial Primary

The Nebraska 2014 Republican Gubernatorial Primary was a competitive six-way contest with a very flat result. No candidate received more than 27% of the vote, four candidates received more than 19%, and every one of the six candidates won in at least one county. Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts came out on top with a preliminary unofficial total of 26.5% (57,922 votes), followed closely by Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning at 25.49% (55,751 votes), State Senator Beau McCoy at 20.94% (45,804 votes), and State Auditor Mike Foley with 19.22% (42,029 votes). Trailing were Tax attorney Bryan Slone with 4.13% and State Senator Tom Carlson with 3.74%. Across the state, only three counties were won with more than 40% of the vote – the top one being Phelps County won by fifth place finisher Carlson with 49.7% (his home town is Holdrege located in Phelps County), Ricketts won Morrill County (in the panhandle) with 42%, and Foley won Lancaster County with 41%. The table below summarizes the results:

Nebraska 2014 Republican Primary Results (Unofficial)

 
Candidate
Total Votes
Percentage
Counties Won
RepPete Ricketts57,92226.48%26
IndJon Bruning55,75125.49%32
DemBeau McCoy45,80420.94%27
OthMike Foley42,02919.22%7
OthTom Carlson9,0344.13%1
OthBryan Slone8,1793.74%1

The Pie chart at right is the statewide breakdown of the vote for the six candidates.  Rickett’s strongest vote margins were in the Omaha area of Douglas and Sarpy Counties, where he had a combined margin advantage of 5,427 votes.  Fourth-place finisher, Foley, had the highest-margin county in Lancaster, where he topped Bruning by 5,986 votes and Ricketts by 6,363 votes.  However, he did not have sufficient state-wide support to achieve victory.  Bruning’s support was more dispersed, winning the most counties, concentrated in the north and west, but not having any high-margin counties.  McCoy is similar to Bruning, with his support concentrated in the central and southern portions of the state. Carlson and Slone both had more than 30% support in only a single county each. Below is a full interactive mouse-over map.

Polk County has the smallest win percentage, where Bruning won with 310 votes (24.12%) to 306 for Foley, 302 for Ricketts, 299 for McCoy, Carlson at 50, and Slone at 18.  An almost even 4-way split!   The full results page on the atlas is located here.

 

New Election Data Sets for U.S. House 1992-1998

Excel Icon

Now available for purchase are election data sets for U.S. House of Representatives by county, congressional district, and state in the general elections of 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1998. There have been many requests for these data, and after several months of compilation, the files are now available for purchase on the store page.

Note that the status of the files is listed as “Preliminary” because the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania did not publish official results by county for U.S. House of Representatives in those years.  The data included in the files in a mix of official results obtained from a few individual counties and compiled results from a precinct-level database provided by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation - but like many such databases, there are many discrepancies.  It will take several more months to track down the individual results from each of the county election agencies.  The data as-is is quite usable since most of the discrepancies are a small percentage of the totals.

As always, updates to purchased data sets are free.

Warrick County Clerk Discovers 3,791 Uncounted Ballots

Warrick County, IN

Warrick County, IN

The Warrick County, Indiana Clerk has recently announced a discovery that 3,791 early ballots cast in the 2012 General Election were left uncounted in the official results published.  Looking at the data, a comparison of the ballots cast in 2008 and 2012 show an overall decline in total ballots cast of 4,211 (29,195 ballots were cast in 2008 vs 24,984 cast in 2012 – a decline of 14%).  This compares with a 4.6% decline in overall turnout state-wide.  More strikingly, the total number of absentee ballots dropped from 10,372 to 1,981 or 81%!  Another anomaly shows that the number of machine ballots increased to 22,999 from 18,823, an increase of 4,176 votes (22% increase).  These data compare with the county voter registration increase of 3,367 voters (+7.2%), causing the overall turnout to fall from 62.5% to 49.9%.  The table below summarizes the data:

Ballots
2008
2012
Change
Machine18,82322,9994,176+22.2%
Absentee10,3721,981-8,391-80.9%
Total29,19524,984-4,211-14.4%
Reg Voters46,71850,0853,367+7.2%
Turnout62.5%49.9%-12.6%

The turnout of 49.9% voter turnout ranks Warrick fourth from the bottom (89th place), just ahead of Clinton, Switzerland, and Scott.  In 2008, Warrick was right in the middle of the pack (40th place). Below is a chart that shows the Warrick County normalized voter turnout from 1980 to 2012 (vs. Registered Voters). This is calculated by subtracting the statewide voter turnout from the voter turnout in Warrick County.

Warrick County, IN Normalized Turnout

The chart highlights the significant decline in normalized turnout for 2012, well outside the normal variable range for the county, pointing to a high probability of an error. Thus far, the Warrick County Clerk has not published an update to the official county vote results for the 2012 General Election.  The Atlas will be updated when this occurs.  Thanks to Jeff Singer for the tip.

New Jersey 2013 Governor by Municipality

New Jersey 2013 General Election Gubernatorial Map by Municipality

New Jersey 2013 General Election Gubernatorial Map by Municipality

The municipality map for the 2013 race for Governor in New Jersey is complete and shown at right.  In this solid Republican win for incumbent Governor Chris Christie, he carried 503 municipalities vs. only 61 won by Democratic challenger Barbara Buono.  This is a significant improvement over Christie’s election in 2009 vs. John Corzine, where he won 413 municipalities to Corzine’s 152 (an overall net pickup of 90 for Christie).  Buono carried the largest two municipalities of Newark and Jersey City, but only one other (Patterson) in the top 29 municipalities ranked by total votes cast.  Buono’s strongest municipality with over 1,000 votes cast was in East Orange (Essex County) where she won 87.6% to 11.3% (a margin of 8,201 votes).  Similarly, Christie’s strongest municipality with greater than 1,000 votes cast was in Colts Neck (Monmouth County) ,  where he won 83.4% to 15.1% (a margin of 2,152 votes).  The table below summarizes the contest data:

 
Gubernatorial Candidate
Lt.Gubernatorial
Candidate
Political Party
Popular Vote
%
BlueChris ChristieKimberly GuadagnoRepublican1,278,93260.24%
RedBarbara BuonoMilly SilvaDemocratic809,97838.15%
colorKenneth KaplanBrenda BellLibertarian12,1550.57%
colorSteven WelzerPatricia AlessandriniGreen8,2950.39%
colorOthers--13,6810.64%

Buono’s strength was limited to the urban centers surrounding Camden, Trenton, and Newark, while Christie was strong everywhere else – especially in Ocean County and the northwestern portions of the state. Full detailed maps can be viewed on the Atlas page.  Forum discussion on this contest is located in this thread.