ACC Study: voter turnout increases in 2014

An analysis from Austin Community College’s Center for Public Policy and Political Studies (CPPPS) reveals voter turnout in the 2014 Austin City Council elections increased dramatically and produced an Austin City Council that is more representative of its residents both geographically and ethnically.

More than 166,000 registered voters cast ballots in the 10 city council districts that represent the City of Austin:

  • District 1:    29.4 percent voter turnout
  • District 2:    24.2 percent voter turnout
  • District 3:    23.9 percent voter turnout
  • District 4:    29.4 percent voter turnout
  • District 5:    35.9 percent voter turnout
  • District 6:    22.7 percent voter turnout
  • District 7:    35.7 percent voter turnout
  • District 8:    38.9 percent voter turnout
  • District 9:    31.1 percent voter turnout
  • District 10: 44.0 percent voter turnout
  • AVERAGE: 32.1 percent voter turnout

“Employing single-member districts to elect council members resulted in council members’ districts being more representative of where Austin’s residents live,” says Peck Young, CPPPS director. “It gave ethnic minorities an opportunity to secure greater representation on the council and reduced the dominance of Anglos on the council.”

The increase in voter turnout in 2014 over previous council elections is largely due to the change in date for the election from May to November.

“The movement to change Austin’s municipal elections had many goals, but the principal goals were to increase voter turnout and increase the representation of ethnic minorities and geographic areas on the council,” says Stefan Haag, ACC adjunct professor of Government. “As a result, Austin’s City Council looks much more like the city’s residents than previous councils did.”

The study, written by Haag with the assistance of Young, is an analysis of voting data from the 2014 City Council election, with data provided by Dr. Jeff Smith of Opinion Analysts, Inc.

View the complete report on the CPPPS webpage,

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