The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

UPDATE: Plainfield Primary Election turnouts, 2010 vs. 2006


Did a contested Wards 2/3 Dem primary drive up voter turnout?

A Plainfield Today reader complained about what they considered the low turnout in the 2010 Democratic Primary. That got me to comparing the Wards 2/3 turnout with those two wards' registration, which gave a turnout rate of 21% (see here) and which I posted about last month -- not shabby at all!

While digging through the archives for another matter the other day, I stumbled across my report of the 2006 Primary Election (see here) --

...[y]ou may be forgiven if you hardly knew there was a primary vote yesterday for the City Council's Ward 1 and Wards 2/3 at-large seats. Signs for Rayland Van Blake and Rashid Burney were not in evidence before mid-day Monday -- the day before the election. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans did any mailings. So, for the first time in living memory, the number of voters who turned out outnumbered the yard signs it seemed to me. But you will look in vain in the print editions of either the Ledger or the Courier for numbers. The Ledger only checks off the winners, and the Courier's print edition snubs Plainfield altogether (remember when it used to be the Plainfield Courier-News?). Oh yes, the numbers? Ward 1: Van Blake - 166, Johnson - 18; Wards 2/3: Burney - 496, Perun - 124."
In 2006, a grand total of 496 Democrats turned out to vote in the Wards 2/3 (uncontested) race -- LESS THAN A THIRD of the number turning out in 2010.

On the other hand, Councilor Reid in the 2010 Ward 1 race outpolled Rayland Van Blake's 2006 turnout by 80 votes, nearly half as many more.

At the same time, the Republican votes in both Wards 2/3 and Ward 1 remained relatively constant --


TOTAL VOTES CAST
WARDS 2/3 GOP

2010 (Pivnichny)
127
2006 (Perun)

124
WARD 1 GOP

2010 (Alfred)
13
2006 (Johnson)

18
WARD 1 DEM

2010 (Reid) 246
2006 (Van Blake) 166

As I don't have the 2006 registration figures, it is not possible to compare the actual turnout PERCENTAGES.

But make no mistake, the 2010 turnout clearly exceeded the 2006 turnout, and I think that having a contested primary had a great deal to do with it.



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was the 2006 primary contested?

Dan said...

@ 9:07 AM -- No. Contested is when more than one candidate is presented for one seat in a political party primary. None of the 2006 choices was contested. In 2010, only the Wards 2/3 seat was contested.

Anonymous said...

It's still disgraceful. I wonder if there is more property ownership in the 2/3 wards. If so, it is discouraging.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps that explains the difference In turnout?