So I had some time to put together the canvas report totals in the screenshot below. Unfortunately I do not have extensive desktop publishing skills, so I’m making due with screen shots of spreadsheets and Microsoft Paint – highlighted screen grabs of the County’s GIS maps…
The story behind the numbers? Well it was close. Very close. There were a total of 29 precincts in 3 county districts which you can find on the County’s outstanding GIS portal. (Just Googled it – GIS stands for Graphic Information Systems.) Some stats…
- In Supervisor Bohn’s District 1 which makes up the west side of Southern Humboldt, but includes parts of south Eureka as well, the incumbent John Fullerton carried 10 out of 12 precincts for a net gains of +244 votes.
- In Supervisor Lovelace’s District 3 which includes a central swath of the county, the challenger Lisa Ollivier carried 3 of 5 precincts for a total of +8 votes.
- Finally, in Supervisor Bass’ 4th District which consists of much of Eureka and it’s very local environs, Lisa carried 11 of 12 of the precincts for a net gain of +373 votes.
Some notes on the numbers. First of all these are from this pdf. I’ve done my best to enter them accurately, but most likely there will be an error or two. Patience with the non-remunerated blogger please. The precinct number handily begins with the County District it is in. I reside in Eureka, in District 4, my precinct happens to be 4E-21. So using that precinct, lets go through what the numbers mean. There were 143 votes for Lisa, 118 for John. Lisa’s net gain in this precinct was therefore 143-188=25 votes. The next column is a similar calculation using the 2012 presidential race adding together the 3 top left wing (Democrat, Green and Peace and Freedom) and then subtracting the top three right-wing candidates (Republican, Libertarian and American Independence Party) and then coming up with a net. I thought it was an interesting gauge to compare the liberal/conservative nature of each precinct from the last election. (btw, blue represents left, red right)
The next grey column is the % of the 2013 off-year vote for each precinct compared to the 2012 presidential election. Oddly the registration numbers in each precinct change quite a bit in some precincts (including mine which doubled) skewing the relevance of this column. The assumption I’m making when I read these reports is that all the people in each precinct voted. I’m getting something wrong here and I’ll have to follow up with that and pass along what I learn. The final two columns are the percent turnout of registered voters (not actual voters) for the 2012 and 2013 elections. I’ve highlighted some of the precincts which are doing relatively better compared to others at Getting out the vote. (GOTV)
For the maps people out there, I had to convert the most important number from this chart (then 2013 net vote difference for each precinct) to map form. Again, lacking computer sophistication, I had to virtually duct-tape a solution together using a screen capture and Microsoft’s pretty fun paint program. Here are the results. Hold on to your mouse.
So, seeing the results on a map is very interesting to me. These are the things I learned in the process of mapping the precincts.
- This election was one of five for the Eureka School Board. This was for “Area 1”. I was not able to find a map of the 5 areas, however the non-contiguous and sometimes non-Eureka nature of the precincts are interesting and I think worth understanding. Board Members representing areas 3 and 5 were also up for re-election, but they were not challenged.
- General trends? North of Harris blue, south of Harris red – at least in Eureka – not all true but most. Also, I think someone could construct a gradient from highest percentage of grid-like streets to only curvy streets to find a correlation between precincts who voted Fullerton vs those who voted for Ollivier in this vote. This is meant light heartedly, but the town vs out of town or town vs suburb dynamic is apparent here. Much more so than during last year’s presidential election btw when all but 3 of these particular precincts had a net vote for Obama.
- Next time I do this, I’ll use different shades of blue and red. Notice that in some districts like the Central Eureka 4E-31 and 4E-32 the vote went almost 2 to one for Lisa Ollivier while in other Eureka precincts like 4E-12 and 4E-14 the vote was pretty even. (Just noticed 4E-31’s map total of 37 seems to be wrong – sorry! Hope that is the exception and not the rule!) (also just noticed the precinct numbers are not
So there you are Eureka. Enjoy. I wish the local paper could have done something like this, but I guess it’s up to us now. The TS was right though when they published an editorial on election day admonishing us lightly not participating in these local elections. This was the first time in my 46 years I had become so involved, so I am in no position to preach. However… I will say that the TS editorial team or writer was right on this. It doesn’t cost a bunch – just the effort to a) do a little homework then b) either send you ballot back or show up on election day. It matters – obviously. 80 people made the difference in this election and up in NoHumCo, 21 people made the difference in voting in Dana Silvernale. Every vote counts and if you pay attention, you will find that even in positions that may not seem like they have the greatest significance to your life, (ie School Board if you don’t have children going through school) there are often important differences in politics and thus policy that will influence your community very directly. Last month’s elections were another example of this.
Also, in case you missed it here is a great article about HumCo’s cutting-edge vote accountability thanks in large part to a group of obviously technically sophisticated, but also effective and dedicated volunteers. Cheers to them!