Dr. Roald Schrack recently released his analysis of the city council election based upon a statistical breakdown of each voting precinct in the city. His observations include:
- About 17 percent of registered voters actually voted, continuing the trend of a low participation rate. [or to put it another way, less than 10 percent of the population (6,240 voters) decided the fate of the entire city (66,000 residents)] Kudos to District 9 (College Gardens and Woodley Gardens) for a highest participation rate of 23 percent (and what’s happening in District 6 (Montrose, North Farm) with only 8 percent?).
- Hot topics were the Red Gate Golf Course and resistance to urbanization.
- State officials associated with political parties actively joined campaigns for the first time, breaking the non-partisan nature of city elections.
- Endorsements by the Gazette, forums, and mailings were probably the tactics that most influenced voters.
- Absentee ballots were much higher than usual, perhaps due to the televised forums and the introduction of the City’s effort to assist residents in nursing homes with voting.
- Formal slates or informal allies among candidates are a clear advantage.
- Negative campaigning is effective in Rockville.
- Well-informed campaigns are much more effective in Rockville than in the county.
Roald provided a charts to compare the Mayoral races in 2009 and 2011, but didn’t provide any analysis. Comparing Marcuccio’s performance in both years seems to show that she maintained her appeal in the same precincts except for significant gains in districts 2 (West End) and 5 (Twinbrook) and significant losses in districts 4 (Twinbrook Forest, Silver Rock, Burgundy) and 7 (Potomac Woods, Fallsmead, Rockshire).
You’ll find more details (and lots of charts) in his 2011 Rockville Election Analysis (pdf). Thanks, Roald!
Roald does a wonderful community service by analyizing and publishing the election results.
Thanks for pointing out the partisan involvement by Mayor Marcuccio in this year’s election. This is a bad trend for Rockviile and I hope we can get the Rockville Elections Commission to take corrective action for the next election. Rockville is unique in that we received a special recognition from the Federal Government so that federal workers can run in our non-partisan elections without fear of violating the Hatch Act. For the past 50 years, we have had many federal employees run and serve on the M & C.
It is time to stop the inane and totally false accusation that Marcuccio crossed the line and
brought partisan politics into her campaign. Last week the Board of Supervisoers of Elections found Mr. Coyle’s allegations to not stand the test of partisan versus non-partisan elections or participation in non-partisan elections.
I will point out once more, when Susan Hoffmann first ran for mayor, she had a mailer with a photo of her with Senator Ben Cardin, along with his endorsement. On the reverse side there were an additional 19 names of political “supporters”. In that same year, John Britton had a mailer with an endorsement from Rep. Chris Van Hollen. Another candidate had a quote from President Bill Clinton and another an endorsement from Ike Leggett. This year’s election had a mailer from Mr. Gajewski with a photo of the Governor, which was used without the Governor’s permission. Where was Mr. Coyle back then? And why is it okay for former Mayors to endorse, but not other elected officials?
OPM determined that, because of special or unusual circumstances, it would be in the domestic interest of employees to particiapte in local elections, and in 1948 designated Rockville as such a locality. There are departments within the government that fall outside what is allowed by the Hatch Act, including the FBI, Secret Service, CIA and others.
This is a non-issue, and the BoSE has ruled so. They will include reference to the guidelines in future candidate packages.