Why there wasn't a line to vote

Obama and Kerry.jpg

Obama had to have done better than Kerry here, right? Yes and no.

Despite all the talk about huge voter turnout across the country on Tuesday, we didn't notice especially long lines (or any lines, really) here in the Capital Region. Well, after taking a look at vote totals from this year and four years ago, it starts to make some sense.

In fact, the way the Capital Region voted this time around was kind of weird compared to the rest of the country. Let's take a look at the totals...

As you can see, the number of Capital Region votes cast in the presidential election was down compared to four years ago. Also somewhat unexpected to us given all the excitement over Obama: John Kerry got almost as many votes in the Capital Region four years as Barack Obama did this year. (Obama got a larger percentage of the vote, though, as it seems many local Republicans stayed home this year.) In fact, if it weren't for Saratoga leaning toward Obama, he might not have equaled Kerry's vote total.

And why weren't there big lines in the Capital Region on Tuesday? Well, about 20,000 fewer people voted here compared to four years ago.

All numbers pulled from the NYT election map.

(Thanks to TQL for suggesting the 2008/2004 comparison.)

Obama photo: Flicr user Lost Albatross | Kerry photo: Flickr user cliff1066


I don't know if you care to go through the trouble of updating your graphic, but your spreadsheet has a cut-and-paste error. Your Rensselaer county "other" numbers are the same as the overall "other" numbers, and so that can't be right. If you did what I think you did, the Rensselaer county number of third-party voters is 1150 for about 1.7% of the countywide vote (which aligns with the other counties quite well).

I won't tell anyone if you won't -- I'm almost willing to bet a dollar that I'm the only one that would notice something like that. :-)

Maybe its because neither candidate bothered to campaign in the area. You would think the capital of the state with the third-highest number of electoral votes would get some campaigning action, but no. (Or am I mistaken about that? - I followed the election, but then again I barely follow local news)

@James: You're right. It's fixed now. Thanks. We really do appreciate it when people point stuff like that out.

There were lines at Albany School of Humanities. Some people apparently waited more than an hour.

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