Election 2013 Wrap Up
So, it took them a few days to count ballots, and I followed it on Facebook, and then I meant to post a final wrap-up but had other stuff going on and now enough time has passed that it feels utterly ridiculous to do a wrap-up but I also feel like my Election 2013 Blogging is incomplete without a wrap-up, so... HERE. HAVE A WRAP UP.
The calculations for the mayor's race took several days. The data was in a huge Excel table and although a competent computer programmer could have written them a script to do it all automatically in approximately the time it took them to re-assign the Communist Lauraist's votes, there are all sorts of laws about ballot-counting automation. I actually support these laws in principle and really, it didn't take THAT long to count everything. Remember the Coleman/Franken Senate race? THAT is an election that took a long time to (re)count.
In the end, though:
1. Turnout was fine. It was somewhat lower than the general election turnout was in 2001 (the last time there was a seriously contested mayor's race) but substantially higher than the primary was that year. Also, apparently turnout in local elections has been falling; this is a nationwide trend.
2. Most voters used the option to rank. (Not all, but most.) (Apparently bullet-balloters were much more likely to be Mark Andrew supporters, which I find interesting, and were especially likely to live in the 6th ward. Since Mark was the #2 candidate in the end, they were right that it didn't much matter who else they ranked.)
3. Betsy won with a plurality, not a majority, but it was not particularly close by the end, and there was no reason to believe that allowing people to rank six candidates rather than three would have swung the race to Mark.
4. The same was true for the other races that were won with a plurality; none were all that close by the end. The closest in terms of percentages was Linea Palmisano (48% vs Matt Perry with 45%); the exhausted ballots would have had to go overwhelmingly to Matt to swing it the other way.
5. I don't think any of the races this time actually swung in the later rounds of ballot-counting -- the person leading after the first round of counting went on to win in every race. Note that it does not have to work that way -- someone can be behind after Round 1 but pick up a bunch of second-choice votes and come back to win. It just didn't happen this time.
...see, this is why I didn't do a post. There's just so little to say at this point that's interesting. But this is all really good news for IRV (well, except possibly for #5 -- if one race had swung like that, it would have given people the opportunity to understand that aspect of the ballot.) I was concerned that turnout would be way down, and it was not. I was concerned that the final result would be unnervingly close (close enough to have swung the other way with fewer exhausted ballots), and it really wasn't. (I was right that it was a plurality win rather than a majority win; that might have been true even with more choices, though, because of people who just weren't interested in either of the top candidates.)
I will say that the Star Tribune's poll results were shockingly, shockingly off. I mean, they did poll in September. And it was a difficult race to poll. But they had Dan Cohen with 16%, tied for first place with Don Samuels. He finished with 2.28%. The only major candidate who did worse was Stephanie Woodruff; both were outpolled by Bob Fine, who did so poorly on the Strib poll that they dropped him from serious consideration.
I don't know enough about their polling methodology to assess what exactly went wrong here.
I was sort of hoping that one of the races I endorsed in would be super close and won by the person I endorsed, so I could claim to have swung a race, but nope. Most of the candidates I backed either didn't win, or won by a comfortable margin (Lisa Bender had almost a 2,000-vote margin and carried it on election night without even requiring the second-choice votes). Alondra Cano won by a pretty narrow margin and I endorsed her, but I know several people who read my write-up and happily voted for Ty Moore because they TOTALLY ARE socialists (there are quite a few, in Powderhorn).
I have heard from A LOT of people who have found my posts useful, though. Including a few who wanted to know if I had a tip jar set up. I do not have a tip jar, and I feel kind of weird about them (for myself, mind you. I don't begrudge other people their tip jars.) I will admit that I find money tremendously validating, though, so if you would like to show tangible appreciation for my research, gossip, and snark, I have set up a fundraiser:
Donate to YouthLink
(Yes, it's through GiveMN/Razoo. LOOK, IT'S BACK UP! Heh. They wanted me to set a goal. I'm going to feel like a total dork if my fundraiser gets, like, $10 in donations. I did a time-limited fundraiser; it ends December 31st.)
If you've read more than my political posts, you'll know that I've volunteered at Project Homeless Connect in the past, and that the issue of homelessness in the Twin Cities is one that I am deeply concerned about. YouthLink was the charity I was pointed at when I asked about donating to a group that specifically supports homeless LGBTQ teenagers -- they support and advocate for homeless youth generally, but they have a particular focus on homeless LGBTQ youth.
You can also feel free to buy one of my books, if you like SF/F.
I am going to transition away from LiveJournal (like almost everyone else); I've set up a WordPress blog. Currently here, although I'm going to make it naomikritzer.com soon. I am still pondering whether to do the political stuff in a separate blog so as not to chase away the people who just want my writing news or the posts about my children.
In the meantime, I will still be checking comments, and you can find me on Facebook (always) and Twitter (intermittently).
Election 2013 Index of Posts