Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Challengers sweep election for Prescott City Council

These local results are in line with many other elections around the country this week. We see clearly once again that where conservatives are dogged about voting, progressives need inspiration, and our local slate was anything but inspiring. It also shows that for all the sturm und drang among those of us who pay attention, Prescott remains a sleepy place overall, and Prescott residents in general really don't think Council matters all that much. This is a self-fulfilling idea, I'm afraid, furnishing power over our lives directly into the hands of the developers and corporatists who will be most happy to exploit it to their advantage.

Okay, let's do our sums.

There were 13,093 Prescott voters this time.
Mr Hanna got 7,548 votes.
Ms Linn got 6,979.
Mr Blair, 6,708.
Mr Luzius, 5,888.
Mr Peters, 4,337.
Mr Katan, 2,104.

Notice something missing?

The total of that column is 33,564. At three votes for each of 13,093 voters, the available total for Council was 39,279, leaving 5,715 votes missing. In the vote trade we call that the undervote.

The final tallies will change slightly, but by any standard that's a big number relative to what would have been needed to alter the results substantially. Compare this to the results on the props:
400: 8,809 ayes + 3,329 nays = 12,138; undervote 955
401: 8,233 ayes + 4,183 nays = 12,416; undervote 677

It's academic to the result, of course, but it would be interesting to know how many of those undervoters were either protesting the weakness of the Council candidates or voting strategically, reducing the totals overall in favor of a single candidate. I'd bet five bucks their preferences are not evenly spread statistically.

It might also play into the idea that Prescott has grown beyond the current regime and we could be better served by a borough system, in which each Council member represents a specific area of the city.

1 comment:

Candace McNulty said...

One Random Data Point:

I voted for only two candidates, as I saw only two for whom I could vote. Ah, if only we could get others to testify. (Though, as we know, most of us blur the truthiness with appalling frequency.)