Voter turnout in the City of Toronto – Part 2

Posted by | data-driven musings | One Comment

Why does turnout vary across space?

I argue that at least some of this variation is due to demographic and socio-economic differences.

The maps on the left show wards with below-average turnout. (The above-average ones are not shown.) On the right I have mapped census tracts in which there is:

  • a majority population of first-generation immigrant residents;
  • a majority population of visible minority residents, which typically corresponds with more recent immigration; and
  • below-average median household income. (These are census tracts in which the average income of all households in the tract is less than the citywide average.)

Turnout and demographics

Read More

Voter turnout in the City of Toronto – Part 1

Posted by | data-driven musings | One Comment

Last week I was invited to speak on a panel with Dave Meslin on civic engagement in Toronto. I thought it might be interesting to revisit the geography of turnout — how some parts of the city seem more included to vote than others, election after election. I had earlier looked at this in the context of the 2010 election. Using City of Toronto Elections data, I made ward-level maps of turnout for the 2003, 2006, and 2010 elections.

Read More

Project: Ward boundary review in Toronto

Posted by | projects | 3 Comments

The disparity in the populations of the City of Toronto’s wards is large and increasing. This undermines equality of electoral representation, residents’ access to councilors, and the quality of constituency services provided by councilors. All councillors have identical office resources and time constraints, yet some must interact with more constituents than others. This imbalance will be resolved one or way or another before the next election as the City undertakes a review of ward boundaries. The question is — how? And can it be done in such a way as to improve civic democracy, accountability, and responsiveness?

Read More