The recent column in City & State by Steven Cohen http://www.cityandstateny.com/bill-de-blasio-and-his-mandate/ that pointed to the record low turnout in last year’s New York City Mayoral election prompted much discussion on line about the reasons for lack of voter participation.
While I have my own theories about that this post won’t get into that. Instead I decided to use the 2013 General Election voter history that we have on the Prime New York voter file to see who did and didn’t vote.
What I discovered won’t surprise many people who actually have tried to turn out voters but will shock those in the media who think that our political future will be determined by the free thinking, issue oriented, non-ideological non-partisan voters.
In 2013, just as in most elections, those folks just don’t vote.
Of the 1,079,514 voters in 2013, 76% were registered Democrats. That’s higher than their share of registered voters which is 68.6% but the theory that the polls showing a Bill de Blasio landslide win depressed Republican turnout doesn’t seem true. Republicans amounted to 11% of the turnout, slightly higher to the 10.8% share they have of registered voters.
It’s the small I, independent or Blank voters, whose turnout was much lower than their share of the overall electorate as only 9.7% voted, compared to 17%.
Looking at it another way, 28% of registered Democrats voted and 26.9% of Republicans did. Those numbers are not good but compared to the 14% of Blanks who voted, those registered in the two major parties look pretty good in terms of civic involvement.