Descriptive Title: Proportion of registered voters that voted in the Novermber 2010 election
Geographic Unit of Analysis: Voting precinct
|Proportion of registered voters that voted in the Novermber 2010 election (2010)|
|Neighborhood||Ballots cast by mail||Ballots cast in person||Total ballots cast||Total registered voters||% of Voters that voted|
|Financial District/South Beach||1,773||1,158||2,931||5,033||58%|
|Golden Gate Park||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|South of Market||4,740||4,097||8,837||15,599||57%|
|West of Twin Peaks||5,830||4,741||10,571||14,334||74%|
This indicator illustrates the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in the November 2010 San Francisco elections by precinct and planning neighborhood. In the November 2010, 61.1% of registered voters in San Francisco’s local and state elections. Roughly half of ballots were cast by mail and half were cast in person. The percent of potential voters that actually voted varies considerably by neighborhood. Chinatown, Visitacion Valley, Bayview and Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island all had less than 50% of registered voters vote in the November 2010 election. In contrast, more than 70% of registered voters in Twin Peaks, Castro/Upper Market, Noe Valley, West of Twin Peaks, and Diamond Heights/Glen Park voted during that election season.
Lower voter turnout appears to be more common in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of foreign born (http://www.SustainableSF.org/indicators/view/169) and low-income residents (http://SustainableSF.org/indicators/view/163).
The neighborhoods with the highest total number of registered voters are the Western Addition, Mission, and Outer Sunset. Residents of Chinatown, Crocker Amazon, and the Financial District were the most likely to vote by mail, whereas residents of the Presidio, the Mission, and Haight Ashbury were the most likely to vote in person.
After increasing for many decades, there has been a trend of stagnant or decreasing voter turnout in many established democracies. Its cause has been attributed to a wide array of economic, demographic, cultural, technological, and institutional factors. San Francisco has a number of progressive policies to encourage voter turnout, including early voting, absentee voting, and allowing others to return absentee ballots for a voter. During each election, the San Francisco Department of Elections manages approximately 560 polling places and more than 3,000 temporary pollworkers. In addition, ranked-choice voting (also known as instant runoff voting) was passed by the voters as an amendment to the City Charter in March of 2002. Ranked-choice voting allows San Francisco voters to rank up to three candidates for the same office. In a plurality election, the highest vote getter wins even if s/he receives less than 50% of the vote. In a ranked choice voting, two candidates advance to a runoff if no candidate receives more than 50% in the first round.
Data is from the November 2010 elections and were mapped using the voting precinct boundaries for that election. It is important to note that precinct boundaries can change slightly for each election.
Many interrelated factors impact whether individuals register to vote and participate in elections including: educational attainment, gender, income/class, race/ethnicity, family history of voting, age, language spoken, literacy, trust in government, historical denial of the right to vote, access to transportation and childcare, get-out-the-vote mobilization efforts, awareness of candidate and ballot initiatives, clarity (or lack of) ballot initiative language, etc. Individuals without U.S. citizenship, under 18 years of age, and/or currently incarcerated or on parole are denied the right to vote in San Francisco and in the United States generally.
In general, voter turnout for city, county and state elections on non-presidential election years tends to be lower than turnout for presidential elections. The November 2008 election had higher voter turnout (88% in San Francisco) than anytime in the previous forty years (November 2010 turnout was 61% in San Francisco). According to Census research by Pew Research Center, the electorate in the 2008 presidential election was the most racially and ethnically diverse in U.S. history, with nearly one-in-four votes cast by non-whites. The unprecedented diversity of the electorate last year was driven by increases both in the number and in the turnout rates of minority eligible voters. Accessed on April 4, 2012: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1209/racial-ethnic-voters-presidential-election
November 2010 voting data from City and County of San Francisco, Department of Elections.
Map and table created by San Francisco Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section using ArcGIS software.
Map data is presented at the level of the November 2010 voting precinct. The map also includes planning neighborhood names, in the vicinity of their corresponding precincts.