Parsing the 2014 Tofino election

Here’s a look at Tofino’s municipal election results, based on the official figures.

One necessary distinction to make is between “ballots” (the physical piece of paper), and “votes” (the X’s made on the ballot, of which each voter could make up to six). Here’s how it washed out:

2014 Tofino election results

The first interesting factoid is that, on the 519 ballots filled out, exactly 2,350 votes were cast. This means that each voter, on average, cast 4.5 votes (made 4.5 X’s on their ballot). Clearly most people voted strategically, making fewer that six X’s so the votes they did cast would carry more weight.

Of all ballots cast, Cathy got a vote on 66% of them — a pretty resounding endorsement in any democratic process. The numbers fall accordingly, down to me, who received a vote on just 51% of ballots cast — enough, but hardly a ringing endorsement. I hope i can up that public confidence in the coming four years.

As you see, i snuck into the basement by just 8 votes. And it was a span of just 18 votes between the three lowest candidates — the results could very easily have been different. So after the election, every time somebody said “I voted for you,” my response was, “You’re the one who put me over the top.”

In the big picture, our voter turnout was a meagre 37% (in 2011 it was 56% and in 2008 it was 48%). This is based on the 1,417 “eligible voters” reckoned to be in the district on two weeks before election day, 15 Nov. But i’m not sure how much confidence i have in that number. Nobody actually went around and counted; it’s an extrapolation from the voters list, the census figures and i’m not sure what else.

But we’re a highly mobile town: how many of those 1,417 were simply not here? And property owners are entitled to a vote too, if they register — and we have a huge number of out-of-town property owners. How were they counted?

So maybe our actual voter turnout was not as low as we think. But we’ll likely never know for sure.

[Posted 20-Jan-2015, but back-dated to just after the election.]

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