The precinct-by-precinct numbers for Tuesday’s primary elections are now available on Monroe County’s website.
Numbers are still unofficial.
For county offices, Democrats saw four contested races on the ballot. The race for the nomination for circuit court judge was a four-way contest, won by Emily Salzmann. The race for the nomination for sheriff was a five-way contest, won by Ruben Marté.
The B Square took a closer precinct-by-precinct look at the other two races, which were two-way affairs. The race for recorder was close, almost a dead heat. The county commissioner’s race was not as close—about a 3:2 margin for the winner.
What both races showed was a detectable, even if not dramatic difference between inside and outside the city limits of Bloomington. In both races there was about a four-point difference in results inside and outside Bloomington.
First, here’s a quick overview of the overall result in those two races.
In the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for recorder, Amy Swain prevailed over Ashley Cranor with 4,047 (50.25 percent) of the 8,054 votes that were cast. That works out to a difference of exactly 40 votes.
Swain will face Republican Paul White in the general election.
In the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for county commissioner, incumbent Lee Jones prevailed over challenger Dominic Thompson with 4,988 (61 percent) of the 8,172 votes that were cast. Jones will face Republican Perry Robinson in the general election.
The closeness of the recorder’s race overall—with just a half percentage point separating the two candidates countywide—was also reflected at the precinct level. Out of the 83 precincts, 14 were either exact ties or as close to a tie as the odd number of voters would allow.
Cranor won at least half the votes in 16 of the 36 precincts (44 percent) outside Bloomington city limits. But she had at least half of the votes in 30 of 47 precincts (64 percent) inside Bloomington.
Of the votes cast for recorder inside Bloomington, Cranor got 51.52 percent, which was four points better than the 47.32 percent she received outside of Bloomington. Cranor lives in the city of Bloomington.
One of the dark purple areas on the map in the race for recorder, which indicated a strong plurality for Swain, is in the southwest corner of the county—Indian Creek Township. That’s Swain’s home turf. Of the 83 votes cast in the Indian Creek precinct, 57 (69 percent) were for Swain.
The way standard choropleth maps show election results tends to over-weight the significance of a 69-percent majority for a relatively sparsely populated area. For that reason, The B Square has also included some dot maps.
In a dot map, each vote for a candidate in a precinct is represented by a dot, plotted in a random location inside the precinct. Sparsely populated areas get less “visual weight” than denser areas. The tradeoff is that dot maps don’t as clearly and quickly convey which candidate received more votes.
In the race for county commissioner, in the southeast corner of the county, in Polk Township, the standard choropleth map shows a clear advantage for Dominic Thompson. Visually, it’s an over-weighted impact, because he received 12 of the 15 (80 percent) total votes that were cast in Polk Township, which gave him a 60-point plurality in that area.
Thompson lives in central Bloomington. The B Square asked Thompson how he accounted for his strong showing in the Polk precinct, even if it was among a small number of voters. Thompson does not have any particular personal connection to Polk Township, he said.
But Thompson thinks Polk Township is perhaps insulated from a lot of the goings-on of county government, because of the geographic distance—which means that voters relied on messaging from campaigns. And Thompson said his campaign had reached out to all 83 precincts of the county, including Polk Township.
Thompson’s campaign manager, Natalia Galvan, wrote in a text message to The B Square that on the weekend before the election, Thompson’s campaign had texted every Democrat in the Polk Township precinct who had not yet voted.
Outside Bloomington, Thompson got 36.4 percent of the vote, but did about 4.4 points better than that inside the city, getting 40.8 percent of Bloomington voters in the Democratic primary. Of the five precincts that Thompson won, four were inside the city limits.
The precinct-by-precinct results available through the county’s website are scanned images of a document, and are split across nine .pdf files. The B Square has combined the files, OCRed them, and provided a link to the resulting document below.
The OCRed document is serviceable for searching candidate names, but not accurate enough to use for data analysis. The maps and analysis provided in this piece are based on manual data entry by The B Square.
There are some discrepancies between the aggregated totals reported by Monroe County for each of the four candidates and the totals that come from adding the precinct-by-precinct numbers manually entered The B Square. For each candidate, The B Square tallied a few more (in parens) than the aggregated totals in Monroe County’s report: Amy Swain (2); Ashley Cranor (2); Dominic Thompson (4); Lee Jones (1).
District 1 Commissioner Race
Dot Maps: Recorder
Dot Maps: County Commissioner