Election Visualized

Although the election is now in the past, we’re still waiting for the voter lists to come out. I’m sure folks around Lowell will do some very interesting analysis. In the meantime, I thought I would make some maps and charts with available data (provided graciously by Dick Howe, Jr.)

I needed to group the candidates somehow, as 18 bars in a graph is too many, so I ran a correlation analysis on the proportion of the total number of votes each candidate received in each precinct. The groupings should surprise nobody carefully following the election. The most correlated candidates pairs were, in order:

  • Van Pech and Vesna Nuon
  • Stacie Hargis and Derek Mitchell
  • Corey Belanger and Danny Rourke
  • Corey Belanger and Jim Milinazzo
  • Corey Belanger and John Leahy

If a voter voted for one of the above candidates, they were highly likely to vote for the other person in the pair.

Mr. Milinazzo seems to be the odd duck. Those who vote for Corey Belanger also tended to vote for Milinazzo. Those who tended to vote for Bill Martin also tended to vote for Milinazzo. Yet Mr. Martin otherwise correlated with Bill Samaras, Derek Mitchell, and Stacie Hargis; while Mr. Belanger correlated with John Leahy, Danny Rourke, and Rodney Elliott. Mr. Milinazzo appears to have cross-party appeal, if you could call these groups “parties.” The other candidate with cross-party appeal was Mr. Lorrey, although unlike Mr. Milinazzo, it was not enough for him to be elected.

Also notable: despite the perception that “everyone” votes for Rita Mercier, a high vote for challengers (excepting Mr. Belanger) in a precinct tended to hurt Ms. Mercier’s vote, while a high vote for current counselors Elliott, Kennedy, or Mendoca tended to help her vote.

Given the natural groups in the data, along with a bit of interpretation on my part, I decided to group the following way:

  • Mercier/Elliott/Kennedy/Mendonca
  • Rourke/Belanger/Leahy/Gitschier
  • Milinazzo/Lorrey/Doyle/Doyle
  • Samaras/Martin
  • Mitchell/Hargis
  • Nuon/Pech

Here’s a map of the precinct-by-precinct results for these groups. The bars are so much higher in the outlying areas not only because of higher turnout, but because voters there tend to use more of their nine votes. The things I find notable: Mitchell/Hargis’s strong showing downtown, the Rourke et al group doing better in the Upper Highlands than the Mercier et al group, and how close Mitchell/Hargis was to Samaras/Martin in almost all precincts. There’s an excellent post about the precinct-by-precinct results at Richardhowe.com.


To examine the number of voters, I prepared a pie-chart map. The size of the pie is total number of registered voters, while the blue slice represents those who actually voted in the 2013 council election. It’s notable that Belvidere not only has the most registered voters, but also had a far larger turnout of those voters than other precincts.


Finally, we see that some precincts spread throughout the City added more votes than Belvidere since 2011. This final map shows the 2011-to-2013 change in number of voters visualized in colors. The % change may be misleading–even though many precincts in the Acre and Lower Highlands nearly doubled their turnout from 2011, this didn’t actually represent many additional votes since the turnout was so small in 2011.


There are some more maps and charts I’d like to make to show change in turnout from the preliminary to the final election, and how the support for candidates changed in that time. Not to mention the reports Aurora and I plan to make on a few of last week’s events. Stay tuned!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s