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Stories Behind the Numbers V: Who’s Vote is it Anyways?

Written by Sam Finnerty

Welcome to Runway’s first edition of Stories Behind the Numbers that involves an interactive data visualization report! From now on in Runway’s blog posts we will be writing less, and spending more time focusing on data and bringing it to life. Taking the time to analyze data about contemporary issues like the US pandemic response and write articles is important. But as we discussed last week in our Lean Learning article, simply browsing static text and images for facts is not an effective way to learn about a topic, especially when you are focused primarily on stories that numbers are telling you. So, from this week onwards our blog posts will primarily be delivered in the form of interactive data reports built in Power BI from whatever publicly available and credible data we can get ahold of. We’ll spend some time discussing the selected topic, and then you can jump right in! This week’s data story highlights a timely and important topic: Voter Turnout in US elections.

The year 2020 has truly been one for the ages. It is a year where many different societal issues have been put in the spotlight to spark national conversations. It is a year where an infectious disease has killed thousands, brought the World Economy to its knees, and disrupted the fabric of everyday life. However, it is also a year where Americans must decide on the leadership that will navigate our country through this crisis (and others) for the next four years. It is an Election Year. Many states are making efforts to ensure that their citizens can vote safely in their Primaries and in the Presidential Election through increased mail-in and absentee ballots. The New York Times found that 76% of Americans will have the ability to vote by mail.

Voting in elections is at the heart of US democratic principles, and is an opportunity for every eligible citizen to have a say in shaping our country's future. Yet, inspiring the masses to get out and vote on Election Day has long been a challenge in the United States, which trails most other developed nations in Voter Turnout. This has begged us to ask the question, who is it that shows up to vote in US Elections? Are there certain segments of the population that play a greater role in determining who takes office? How have these dynamics changed over time? There are many questions when it comes to voting trends and the electoral process in the United States, and we will be examining what the data has to say about this topic in this post and future posts as well. This week we’ll be focusing on the Voter Turnout data for three specific demographics of our voting population: Age, Education and Race.

The first page of the report is shown below! To enlarge the report, just click on the "Full Screen" icon in the bottom right and dive right in! (Click on the "I" button for further info)