For 2012 election-related commentary, please see these recent posts :
- Forget Ohio, it’s all about Virginia…and demographics
- Virginia Votes 2012
- Virginia Votes 2012: Turnout across localities
- Lower turnout in 2012 makes the case for political realignment in 2008
In the 2008 Presidential election, 67% of eligible Virginia voters cast ballots, the highest turnout rate in the commonwealth in the modern political period (up from 61% in 2004 and 54% in 2000). Of course, this comparatively high turnout didn’t occur evenly throughout the state. In fact, there was striking variation evident across Virginia’s localities: the maximum turnout rate occurred in the city of Falls Church, with 87% turnout among the pool of eligible voters; at the lower end, only 40% of eligible voters in the city of Radford showed up at the polls.
Voter turnout here is estimated by the number of ballots cast in a locality (as recorded by the State Board of Elections) divided by the citizen voting age population in the locality (U.S. citizens aged 18 or over, as estimated by the Census Bureau).
The map below shows the distribution of voter turnout across the state. The dark purple cities and counties had turnout rates much higher than the state total, with 75% or more of eligible residents turning out to vote. These are mostly localities in Virginia’s big metro areas: Northern Virginia, the Richmond area, and the Hampton Roads region.
The two lighter shades of blue denote localities where turnout was much lower than the state total, less than 60%. These are mostly in Virginia’s southwestern and Southside counties.
Voter Turnout by Locality