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)
NeighborhoodBallots cast by mailBallots cast in personTotal ballots castTotal registered voters% of Voters that voted
Bayview/Hunter's Point 4,424 3,399 7,823 16,785 47%
Bernal Heights 4,917 5,913 10,830 16,431 66%
Castro/Upper Market 5,788 6,326 12,114 16,523 73%
Chinatown 1,184 612 1,796 3,627 50%
Excelsior 5,547 3,958 9,506 16,667 57%
Financial District/South Beach 1,773 1,158 2,931 5,033 58%
Glen Park
Golden Gate Park N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Haight Ashbury 4,340 6,161 10,502 16,031 66%
Hayes Valley
Inner Richmond 5,775 6,620 12,395 20,031 62%
Inner Sunset 5,258 5,765 11,023 16,505 67%
Lakeshore 2,887 2,480 5,367 8,937 60%
Lincoln Park
Lone Mountain/USF
Marina 4,102 4,591 8,692 14,148 61%
McLaren Park
Mission 8,075 11,565 19,640 31,922 62%
Mission Bay
Nob Hill 3,483 3,605 7,088 12,320 58%
Noe Valley 5,163 5,723 10,886 14,817 73%
North Beach 2,238 2,083 4,321 7,158 60%
Outer Mission 4,661 3,528 8,189 13,894 59%
Outer Richmond 6,340 5,855 12,195 20,323 60%
Pacific Heights 4,405 4,357 8,762 13,467 65%
Potrero Hill 2,646 2,997 5,643 8,656 65%
Presidio 385 709 1,094 1,925 57%
Presidio Heights 1,888 1,783 3,671 5,438 68%
Russian Hill 3,575 3,245 6,819 11,253 61%
San Francisco 143,405 140,960 284,365 465,583 61%
Seacliff 628 528 1,156 1,697 68%
South of Market 4,740 4,097 8,837 15,599 57%
Treasure Island 198 196 394 996 40%
Twin Peaks 1,752 1,379 3,131 4,449 70%
Visitacion Valley 3,094 2,104 5,197 10,532 49%
West of Twin Peaks 5,830 4,741 10,571 14,334 74%
Western Addition 9,620 10,992 20,613 34,812 59%

Why Is This An Indicator Of Health and Sustainability?

People involved in electoral participation were 22% less likely to report poor/fair health.a In a study about neighborhood environment, if political engagement was low, people had 52% higher odds of reporting poor health.b

Interpretation and Geographic Equity Analysis

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 ( and low-income residents (

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:

Data Source

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.

Detailed information regarding census data, geographic units of analysis, their definitions, and their boundaries can be found at the following links:

Interactive boundaries map

  1. Kim D, Kawachi I. 2006. A multilevel analysis of key forms of community- and individual- level social capital as predictors of self-rated health in th e United States. Journal of Urban Health 83(5):813-826.
  2. Cummins S, Stafford M, MacIntyre S, Marmot M, Ellaway A. 2005. Neighborhood environment and its associations with self-rated health: evidence from Scotland and England. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 59:207-213.