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Low voter turnout allows small pockets of voters to determine results in Cleveland’s Primary Election

Low voter turnout allows small pockets of voters to determine results in Cleveland’s Primary Election

by Chuck Hoven

   Only 15% of Cleveland’s 247,742 eligible voters voted in the Primary Election. A total of 38,360 Clevelanders cast votes in the primary according to the unofficial preliminary results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. 13,506 of those voters cast absentee ballots and 24,854 voted on election day. 

   In the mayoral race, Justin Bibb, who placed first in the primary, received 10,635 votes or 27.14% of the votes cast. Kevin Kelly placed second with 7,597 votes, or 19.39% of the votes cast. Dennis Kucinich placed third with 6,481 votes, or 16.54% of the votes cast. Zack Reed placed fourth with 4,724 votes, or 12.06% of the votes cast. Basheer S. Jones placed fifth with 4,640 votes, or 11.84% of the votes cast. Sandra Williams placed sixth with 4,478 votes cast, or 11.43% of the votes cast. Ross BiDello placed seventh with 632 votes, or 1.61% of the votes cast.

NEWS ANALYSIS

   Justin Bibb and Kevin Kelley, the two top vote getters in the mayoral primary, combined only received 18,232 votes. This represents just 7.3% of the registered voters in Cleveland voting for the two mayoral candidates advancing to the general election in November.

   The election was marked by low voter turnout in most precincts in Cleveland. Examination of precinct level turnout data provided by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections shows the ability of voters in just a few precincts with higher-than-average turnout rates to make a big difference in the vote totals for their City Council wards.

   With the voter turnout so low in many precincts, voters in small pockets around the city were able to have substantial influence on the outcome of elections. The analysis by ward and precinct below hopes to shed some light on voter turnout in Wards served by the Plain Press and where the voters are located that are had the most influence in picking candidates that are advancing to the general election in November. The vote totals include absentee ballots cast as well as in person voting. So please note that the polling places are just indications of the general area where voters live – the voter may have mailed in a ballot and not gone to the polling place to vote.

Ward 3

   In addition to voting for mayoral candidates in the primary election, Ward 3 voters weighed in on city council candidates as well. The top two finishers in the City Council primary will go on to face each other in the general election. Incumbent City Council Representative Kerry McCormack received 2,152 votes in the primary or 73.6% of the 2,924 votes cast. Ayat Amin came in second with 596 votes, or 20.38% of the votes cast. Mike Rogalski received 176 votes, or 6.02% of the votes cast. McCormack will now face Amin in the general election on November 2nd.

   Ward 3, which includes parts of the Near West Side, Tremont, and downtown, has the most eligible voters of any of the seventeen wards in the City of Cleveland with 17,677 eligible voters. However, with 2,985 people voting in Ward 3, or 16.9% of the eligible voters, the ward was not the Cleveland City Council ward with the most people voting.

   Ward 3 came in third in total number of people voting behind both Ward 17 and Ward 1. Ward 17 on the far West Side of Cleveland had the highest number of people voting in any ward in Cleveland with 4,668 voters. This represented 28.3% of the ward’s 16,477 eligible voters. Ward 1 on the far East Side of Cleveland came in second with 3,115 people voting. This represents 19.4% of the ward’s 16,020 eligible voters. Ward 13, which serves the Old Brooklyn neighborhood, had the fourth highest number of voters, with 2,824 people voting. This represents 19.1% of the 14,753 registered voters in the ward.

   Voting turnout within Ward 3, which reportedly voted heavy for Justin Bibb, varied greatly within the ward. Councilman McCormack endorsed Bibb for mayor. Neighborhood block club members report Bibb visits to talk with neighbors over the course of his campaign.

   The highest turnout percentages in Ward 3 were for the four precincts voting at Franklin Circle Church. The four precincts – Precincts B, C, D and E — combined for 1091 of the 2,985 Ward 3 votes cast in the primary. Turnout percentage in Precincts B and C was 27.4%. Turnout in Precinct D was 30.7% and turnout in Precinct E was 21.7%.

   Ward 3 Voters voting at Lakeview Community Center and Lakeview Tower Apartments — Precincts G, A and H– accounted for 357 of the 2,985 votes cast in the primary election. Turnout in Precinct G was 17.1%. Turnout in Precinct A was 5.2% and turnout in Precinct H was 15.1%.

   Ward 3 voters in Tremont voting at Tremont Montessori School and Pilgrim Congregational Church – Precincts F, O, K and P– accounted for 657 of the 2,985 Ward 3 votes cast in the primary in Ward 3. Turnout in Precinct F was 23.9%. Turnout in Precinct O was 20.8%. Turnout in Precinct K was 21.3% and turnout in Precinct P was 16.7%.

   Ward 3 downtown voters voting at Rocket Mortgage Field House – Precincts I, L and Q – accounted for 503 of the 2,985 votes cast in the ward in the primary election. Turnout in Precinct I was 14.2%. Turnout in Precinct L was 12.8%, and turnout in Precinct Q was 7.2%.

   Ward 3 voters with their voting location at the Salvation Army on Clark Avenue, from Precincts J, M and S, cast 230 of the 2,985 votes cast in Ward 3 in the primary election. Precinct J had a turnout of 19.3%. The turnout in Precinct M was 5.8%, and the turnout in Precinct S was 6.8%.

   Ward 3 voters from Precinct N, voted at VFW Post 2850 on W. 61st in the Stockyard neighborhood. Only 46 voters from the precinct voted or 7.6% of the Precinct’s eligible voters.

   Only 21 voters from Ward 3 Precinct R, or 5.3% of the eligible voters in the precinct voted in the Primary. Precinct R is in the far southwest portion of Ward 3, with a polling place at Halle School.

   Voter turnout varied in precincts in other wards served by the Plain Press.

Ward 15

   Ward 15 serves the Detroit Shoreway, Cudell, and Edgewater neighborhoods. The ward has 15,872 registered voters, the fourth highest number of registered voters among Cleveland City Council wards. However, with 2,604 voters voting in the primary, or 16.4% of the ward’s eligible voters, Ward 15 came in fifth among Cleveland wards in the actual number of people voting.

   Like Ward 3, Ward 15’s precincts varied in voter turnout percentages.

   Precincts A, B, and C which vote at Louisa May Alcott School on Baltic Avenue accounted for 777 of the 2,604 primary voters in the ward. Turnout in Precinct A was 23.7%. Turnout in Precinct B was 23.4%, and turnout in Precinct C was 29.5%.

   Ward 15 Precincts K and M, with a polling place at Gallagher School, accounted fir 354 of the 2,604 votes cast in Ward 15. Turnout in Precinct K was 16% and Turnout in Precinct M as 26%.

   Ward 15 Precincts D, E, G, H, I and R with a polling place at Cudell Recreation Center accounted for 478 of the 2,604 votes cast in the primary election in Ward 15. In Ward 15 Precinct D, 11.4% of eligible voters voted in the primary; in Precinct E, 8.3% of eligible voters cast a vote; in Precinct G, 7.5% of eligible voters cast a vote; in Precinct H, 12.6% of eligible voters voted; in Precinct I, 7.5% of eligible voters participated in the primary; in Precinct R, the percentage of eligible voters participating in the primary was 8.5%.

   Ward 15 Precincts F, J, L and Q with a polling place at Michael Zone Recreation Center contributed 491 votes out of the total of 2,604 votes cast in the ward for the mayoral primary. Turnout varied by precinct with Precinct Q having a turnout of 21.3% of the eligible voters; Precinct J turning out 19.4% of eligible voters; Precinct F had a voter turnout rate of 6.5%; and Precinct L had the lowest percentage of eligible voters turning out to vote in all of Ward 15 with only 4% of eligible voters voting in the mayoral primary. Only 27 of the 681 eligible voters in Ward 15 Precinct L voted in the mayoral primary.

   Ward 15 Precincts N, O, and P with a polling place at Sagrada Familia Church cast 504 of the 2,604 votes cast by eligible voters in Ward 15 in the Mayoral Primary. Of the three precincts voting at Sagrada Familia, Precinct P had the highest turnout rate with 22.5% of eligible voters in the precinct showing up to vote; Precinct N was second with 21.3% of eligible voters participating in the primary; and Precinct O had the lowest turnout of the three precincts with 11.8% of eligible voters participating in the primary.

Ward 11

   Ward 11, which serves the Westown Community Development Corporation service area in the Midwest Side of Cleveland, has 14,302 registered voters. 1,676 of those voters voted in the mayoral primary, or 11.7% of the eligible voters.

   In addition to the mayor’s race, primary voters in Ward 11 had the task of voting for City Council and narrowing the field from three to two candidates. The incumbent, Councilman Brian Mooney came in first in the primary receiving 766 votes, or 46.31% of the 1,654 votes cast in the Ward 11 City Council Primary Election. Candidate Michael Hardy came in second with 472 votes or 28.54% of the votes cast. Candidate Donna Woods came in third with 416 votes or 25.15% of the votes cast.

   Ward 11 voters in Precincts A and B with a polling place at Second Calvary Church contributed 215 of the 1,676 votes cast in the mayoral primary in Ward 11. Turnout in Precinct A was 8.7%. Turnout in Precinct B was 17%.

   Ward 11 voters in Precincts C, D and L voted at the Beit Hanna Social Club and contributed 248 votes. Voter turnout in Precinct C was13.6% of the eligible voters. In Precinct D the turnout rate was 5.2%. In Precinct L the turnout rate was 9%.

   Ward 11 voters in Precincts E and G voted at the Westside Community School of the Arts and contributed 236 votes to the total. 12.7% of eligible voters in Precinct E voted in the primary. 11.7% of voters in Precinct G came out to vote.

   Ward 11 voters in Precincts F, H, J, and K voted at Halloran Skating Rink and contributed a total of 486 votes. In Precinct F 12.7% of eligible voters voted in the primary. In Precinct H the turnout was 17.2% of eligible voters. In Precinct J the turnout rate was 13.9%. In Precinct K the turnout was 8.4%.

   90 voters in Ward 11 Precinct M voted at Louisa May Alcott School. This represented 12.2% of registered voters in that precinct.

   65 voters in Ward 11 Precinct N voted at Cudell Recreation Center. This represented 12.4% of the eligible voters in the precinct.

   Ward 12 voters in Precincts O, P and I voted at Almira School and contributed a total of 336 votes out of the 1,676 votes cast in the mayoral primary in Ward 11.

Ward 12

   Ward 12 serves parts of the Southeast and Southwest sides of Cleveland. The ward has 13,869 eligible voters. 2,126 people voted in the mayoral primary election or 15.2% of the eligible voters.

   In addition to the mayoral race, Ward 12 voters weighed in on a City Council Primary that featured four candidates and ended up in the close finish between the top two candidates Incumbent Anthony Brancatelli and challenger Rebecca Maurer. A total of 2,090 people voted in the City Council contest. The incumbent, Brancatelli, received 960 votes in the primary, or 45.93% of the 2,090 votes cast. Maurer came in a close second, receiving 882 votes or 42.2% of the votes cast. Shalira Taylor came in third with 182 votes, or 8.71% of the votes cast.  Tawayne McGee came in fourth with 66 votes, or 3.16% of the votes cast. Brancatelli and Maurer will now face off in the general election where voters will decide on who will represent them in City Council for the next four years.

   There are 19 precincts in Ward 12. Ten precincts are on the Southwest side in Old Brooklyn, Brooklyn Centre and Tremont. Nine precincts are on the Southeast side. 

   The voting pattern in Ward 12 is a clear example of the difference turnout can make in just a few precincts. The ten Southwest side precincts contributed 1,479 votes out of the 2,126 cast in the mayoral primary in Ward 12 The nine Southeast side precincts contributed 647 votes.

   The big difference in the totals of the votes came from just four precincts in Old Brooklyn (M, N, O &P) where voter turnout was much higher than the Ward average. Voters in the four precincts that voted at the Brooklyn Heights United Church of Christ on West Schaaf Road contributed 940 of the 2,126 votes cast in the mayoral contest in Ward 12. Precinct M contributed 220 votes with 31.7% of eligible voters voting. Precinct N contributed 181 votes with 21.3% of eligible voters voting. Precinct O contributed 276 votes or 33.1% of the eligible voters in the precinct. Precinct P contributed 263 votes, with 32% of the eligible voters casting a ballot.

   Ward 12 voters in Precincts A and Q, who voted at Denison Elementary School contributed 133 of the 2,126 votes cast by Ward 12 residents in the Primary Election. 10.3 % or eligible voters voted in Precinct A and 8.5% of eligible voters voted in Precinct Q.

   Ward 12 voters in Precinct S, voted at Luis Munoz Marin Middle School on Scranton Road in Tremont. They contributed 66 votes to the total number of votes cast in Ward 12 and 16.3% of eligible voters voted.

   Voters in Ward 12 Precincts B, C, and R voted at Pearl Road UMC and contributed 340 votes to the total for Ward 12. Turnout in Precinct B was11.5%. Turnout in Precinct C was 17%. Turnout in Precinct R was 10%.

   The three Ward 12 polling places on the Southeast side are Mound Stem Academy, Albert Bushnell Hart Elementary School, and Cleveland College Prep School.

   Voters in Ward 12 Precincts D and E voted at Mound Stem Academy and contributed 120 votes out of the 2,126 votes cast in Ward 12. Precinct D had a voter turnout rate of 9.3%. Precinct E had a voter turnout rate of 10.6%.

   Voters in Ward 12 Precincts F, G, H, and I voted at Albert Bushnell Hart School and contributed 284 votes. Precinct F had a voter turnout rate of 10.7%. Precinct G had a voter turnout rate of 7.1%. Precinct H had a voter turnout rate of 10.2%. Precinct I had a voter turnout rate of 8.1%.

   Voters in Ward 12 Precincts J, K and L voted at Cleveland College Prep School and contributed 243 votes. Precinct J had a voter turnout rate of 8.3%. Precinct K had a voter turnout rate of 11.7%. Precinct L had a voter turnout rate of 13.3%.

Ward 14

   Ward 14 serves the Clark Fulton neighborhood and parts of the Brooklyn Centre, Tremont, Stockyard and West Boulevard neighborhoods.  With only 13,029 registered voters, Ward 14 has fewer registered voters than any ward in Cleveland except Ward 5 which has the lowest number of registered voters in Cleveland with 12,433 registered voters. However, Ward 14 had the fewest people turn out to vote of any ward in Cleveland with only 918 people voting in the September 14th Primary Election. This represents 7% of the eligible voters in the ward.  In Ward 5, the turnout was 8.6%, with 1,075 people voting in the primary.

   The voter turnout of just 918 voters in all of Ward 14 (16 precincts) represents less than the turnout of 930 voters in just the four Ward 12 precincts in Old Brooklyn mentioned above.

   Ward 14 voters in the western part of the ward in Precincts A, E, F and P voted at Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana at 6800 Denison Avenue and contributed 211 of the 918 votes cast in the mayoral primary in Ward 14. In Precinct A, 5% of eligible voters came out to vote in the primary. In Precinct E, the turnout was 6.8% of eligible voters. In Precinct F the turnout was 7.8% of eligible voters. In Precinct P the turnout was 6.2% of eligible voters.

   40 people from Ward 14 Precinct B voted at the VFW Post 2850 on W. 61st Street just north of Storer Avenue. This represented just 4.8% of the 841 eligible voters in Precinct B, the precinct with the lowest turnout rate of any precinct in Ward 14.

   Ward 14 Precincts C and D voted at Denison Elementary School and contributed 155 votes of the 918 votes cast in the ward. The turnout rate in Precinct C was 9.4%. The voter turnout in Precinct D was9.7%.

   62 people in Ward 14 Precinct G voted at Luis Munoz Marin School on Scranton Road. This represented 9.1% of the eligible voters in the precinct.

   Ward 14 Precincts H, I, J, and O voted at Lincoln West High School contributing 221 votes to the 918 votes cast by Ward 14 voters. 8.7% of eligible Precinct H voters cast ballots. 5.0% of eligible Precinct I voters voted in the primary. 8% of the eligible voters turned out to vote in Precinct J. The percentage of eligible voters participating in the primary in Precinct O was 5.2%.

   Ward 14 Precincts K and L voted at the Fulton Branch Library and contributed 129 votes. In Precinct K, 8% of the eligible voters turned out to vote in the primary. In Precinct L, 6.8% of the eligible voters participated in the primary.

   48 voters in Ward 14 Precinct M voted at the Salvation Army on Clark Avenue. This represents 5.1% of the 938 eligible voters in the precinct.

   52 voters in Ware 14 Precinct N voted at Walton Elementary School. This represents 7.5% of the eligible voters in the precinct.

Citywide

   Citywide, outside of the Plain Press service in areas not already mentioned above, low voter turnout also prevailed.

   In Ward 2, 14.9% of the 14,020 eligible voters participated in the primary, or 2,084 voters.

   In Ward 4, 17.7 percent of the 13,934 eligible voters participated in the primary, or 2,461 voters.

   In Ward 6, 13.7% of the 14,023 eligible voters participated in the primary, or 1,917 voters.

   In Ward 7, 12.8% of the 14,614 eligible voters participated in the primary, or 1,856 voters.

   In Ward 8, 17.2% of the 14,334 eligible voters participated in the primary, or 2,468 voters.

   In Ward 9, 12.8% of the 14,562 eligible voters participated in the primary, or 1,865 voters.

   In Ward 10, 12.6% of the 13,582 eligible voters participated in the primary, or 1,718 voters.

   In Ward 16, 14.1% of the 14,241 eligible voters participated in the primary, or 2,010 voters.

About plainpress

Plain Press 2012 W. 25th Street, Suite #500 Cleveland, OH 44113 Email: plainpress@gmail.com Email Advertising: plainpressads@yahoo.com Phone: (216) 621-3060 Managing Editor: Chuck Hoven Editor: Deborah Rose Sadlon Advertising Representative: Ed Tishel

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