Wednesday, November 03, 2021

What was Turnout Like in the 2021 City of Cincinnati Elections?

The simple truth about the 2021 City of Cincinnati Election turnout is that it was historically low. There is no question that a large majority of registered voters did not want to vote in this election. Why it is low is not easy to answer with out more data.  People will make lots of claims about why, but they will be either anecdotal or speculation.  What I have below are some statistics based on turnout data from the BOE's live turnout tracker.  I have created these based on two data points that are derived on other data I have compiled.  

The first data point is on the race demographics of each precinct.  I used the 2020 census data that provided population by race within each precinct.  I made a determination of which race was a clear majority of each precinct.  Where there was not a clear majority or the numbers were close, I considered that precinct a mix.

The second data point is neighborhood.  I have assigned a single neighborhood identification to each precinct.  This assignment is very much an approximation.  Four neighborhoods are not represented as I determined they are a minority portion of another precinct.  This was done by reviewing varied maps provided by the City and by the County's CAGIS map software.  These assignments could certainly be debated and if someone sees an error, please let me know.

The first chart I have looks at turnout grouped by the majority race of each precinct for 2021 compared to the turnout of 2017.  Please note the numbers listed are NOT a total of people who are of a particular race. The numbers are the registered voters and those who voted in precincts that have a majority of a particular race. I am sure most people get this, but unfortunately some people don't like to read the details and will just point to parts of labels and extrapolate bad data.  I hope that does not happen.


The biggest take away I see here is that the reduction in turnout compared to 2017 was overall fairly equivalent through these segments.  There is a larger decrease in turnout in black majority precincts, than white majority precincts, but oddly enough the mixed precincts changed nearly the same as white majority precincts. There could have been an effect on the election if the turnout was more closely aligned, but at best that could have affected the ninth spot in the race. The lower turnout in black majority precincts is in line with the 2020 election where each of the segments had turnout of 56.35%, 57.64%, and 68.81% respectively, so there are no factors that would be variant with other recent elections.

The next chart dives into a comparison of the neighborhood and ward turnouts.  I included a comparison to 2017 turnout rates and a vote total retention number as well. As I stated before, these neighborhoods are approximate and they are broken out by ward, as several neighborhoods are split between more than one ward.  In this detail you can see many neighborhoods and wards did not drop in turnout, as compared to 2017, as much as others.  It's difficult to see big patterns, but you can see that certain neighborhoods had a bigger impact on the election.  Hyde Park is regularly an important neighborhood for elections and this year that continued.  I will be examining the success of each candidate in the neighborhoods as I compile more data from yesterday's election.




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