CONCORD, CA (Nov. 7, 2022) — Writing just before election night, I can only surmise what might be the results. However, here are some things to watch for in local elections that may be reflective of national trends.
Will women voters turn out in much higher numbers than in the past and will they tend to:
1. Vote for endorsed Democrats locally regardless of anything else? Put another way, will the casual women voters default to Democrat-identified candidates?
2. Will casual and high-propensity women voters again default to vote for women candidates much more than men? This could be a critical edge in the District 4 Supervisor contest between Deborah Allen and Ken Carlson.
More things to ponder
3. Will the youngsters continue their unvote? Classically, 22-year-olds who have voted once when 18 have gotten over the novelty and don’t bother again until 30-35. They are the lowest by age in turnout.
4. Will Latinos continue to vote at a turnout about half of their percentage in the voter registration pool, while Asians vote at a higher rate than their population effect? Watch San Ramon local races for this impact.
5. Will white voters over the age of 50 once again dominate the turnout?
6. Will renters continue to hide from the local races, putting more attention to the For Sale signs in the apartment laundry rooms than political motivation to vote?
7. What will be the effect of mail ballots and their arrival dates? If 15% of all eligible voters vote within 14 days of the mail drop, that could mean early voters could represent 40% of the actual turnout in a low turnout race. This means early field campaigns before mail ballot drop are much more critical than in the pre-pandemic era.
8. Will the local turnout by party numbers continue? In Concord, Democrats turn out 6 points above their registration, while Republicans turn out 2 points above. All other parties and non-party preference folks are 8 points below their portion of the electorate.
So, there are some thinking points as the numbers come in locally.
Edi Birsan is a member of the Concord City Council. However, opinions expressed in this column are his alone and do not reflect those of the city. Send comments and questions to EdiBirsan@gmail.com.