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Data show Concord typically bucks national turnout trends



Monitor staff
Monday, November 05, 2018

There’s been a lot of chatter about how this year’s midterm will have the biggest turnout in years. And with the total number of registered voters and midterm participation climbing, Concord is poised to see the same.

New Hampshire officials are predicting Tuesday’s turnout will top half a million voters for the first time in a midterm election. Much of the national turnout conversation has been based off 2014’s turnout, the lowest turnout the country had seen since World War II, according to news reports. But that wasn’t the case in Concord. In fact, the Capital City saw its highest midterm election turnout since 2006, according to New Hampshire’s Secretary of State’s website.

If you thought that correlated to a high number of registered voters, you’d be wrong: at 27,106, the number of registered voters in the Capital City was at its lowest since 2006. It’s been rising steadily since then. As of Monday, there were 30,813 registered voters in Concord. That’s still less than in 2010, which saw the highest number of registered midterm voters at 31,866.

Whatever happens, we can guess how a few wards are going to shake out, based on historical data:

Wards 5 and 10 will show up

Wards 5 and 10 consistently have the have the largest number of registered voters and the highest turnout of any of the wards, although they tend to trade off on first and second place.

By contrast, Ward 3, which covers beyond the Penacook Lake region of the Capital City and sneaks up to Sewalls Falls Road, has consistently had the fewest registered voters during the midterms. This could be simply due to geography – compared to Wards 5 and 10, Ward 3’s population is more spread out, and it lacks the clustered neighborhoods characteristic of 5 and 10.

Turnout generally low in Wards 2, 3, 6 and 9

The four wards with the lowest number of registered voters – 2, 3, 6 and 9 – also typically have the lowest midterm turnout. Who takes that spot varies from year to year, but Ward 6 (covering a tight section of the downtown) has consistently had the lowest or second-lowest turnout since 2006.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)