Berkeley voting: Where you live is how you vote… sort of


Interactive map with precinct-by-precinct results for Measure S. Click the green arrows to conceal info boxes. View the map on Geocommons here.

Although most of the results of Berkeley’s 2012 election were known on Nov. 6, and the final tally completed over a week ago, an analysis of the precinct-by-precinct certified results provides a number of fascinating insights.

(The certified results were released by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters just before Thanksgiving last week – the full 9MB 748-page statement of vote is available for download, but only as a PDF, not as a useful data file.)

The map above shows how different precincts in Berkeley voted on Measure S, which would have prohibited sitting on sidewalks in commercial areas of the city at certain times (for more about the vote maps, click here. Readers can hide the info boxes by clicking on the green arrows. If the maps don’t load, please refresh your browser). Measure S failed, with 52.3% of Berkeleyans opposed. But, in 19 of Berkeley’s 101 precincts, over 60% of voters supported Measure S. Strong support for Measure S came overwhelmingly from the hills and North Berkeley. Precincts with large numbers of students voted heavily against Measure S, as did many precincts in South Berkeley; in three precincts, fewer than 30% of voters supported the measure. (Precinct-by-precinct tallies can be seen on this Google Document.)


Interactive map with precinct-by-precinct results for Measure T. Click the green arrows to conceal info boxes. View the map on Geocommons here

Measure T, which would have changed zoning rules in West Berkeley, failed by a narrower margin than Measure S, with just 1% separating the opponents from the supporters. But the pattern of voting was similar to S, with the hills largely in support (as shown in the map above). The extremes for T were less pronounced, however: only two precincts notched over 60% support for T and only two were below 40% (while 17 precincts had less than 40% support of S). The Measure T precinct-by-precinct tallies are here.

In contrast to the voting pattern for those two key measures, Mayor Tom Bates won every precinct in the city. In precinct 208600, however, on the Oakland border between Telegraph and Shattuck, he only squeaked by: Bates had 134 votes and local councilmember Kriss Worthington had 132.

There were, of course, elections for non-Berkeley offices on November 6. There have been numerous accounts of precincts in large cities voting 100% for President Barack Obama. Berkeley does not have that distinction. Republican candidate Mitt Romney recorded votes in every Berkeley precinct, but, unsurprisingly, not very many of them.


Interactive map with precinct-by-precinct results on Romney versus Stein. Click the green arrows to conceal info boxes. View the map on Geocommons here

Romney didn’t cross the 10% threshold in any Berkeley precinct, although he was just under that mark in precinct 203500, which includes the Clark Kerr campus and the Piedmont/Parker neighborhood. In 35 precincts — more than one-third of Berkeley — Romney trailed Green Party candidate Jill Stein. In the map above, green and blue precincts had more votes for Stein than Romney. Obama won extremely comfortably in every precinct of Berkeley.

The maps in this article were created by Berkeleyside from the certified election results provided by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters. The maps are built on the county’s precinct maps. There’s an inconsistency between the county’s numbering of precincts and what the registrar reports — hence some of the blank spaces in the map. The maps are interactive: if you click on a precinct, you can access the data that forms the map. The legend for the colors is in the lower right-hand corner.

Related:
Final election count shows no change in Berkeley tallies [11.16.12]
Inside absentee, provisional ballot counting [11.12.12]
Vote update: Yes on Measure T slips further behind [11.12.12]
Vote update: T slips down, 10,000 more votes counted [11.10.12]
Update on Measure T count: Now 5 votes up [11.09.12]
And then there was one: Measure T down to single vote [11.08.12]
Measure T gap narrows to 26 votes [11.07.12]
Remaining Berkeley votes could change close contests [11.07.12]
Live blogging the Berkeley elections: all the final results [11.06.12]
Measure T: Will it enhance or ruin West Berkeley? [10.29.12]

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  • The Sharkey

    1994 was almost two decades ago, Bob.

  • Bob Offer-Westort

    Agreed.

  • Howie Mencken

    Barley lost this battle. Winning the war.

  • The Sharkey

    Well, the chronic homeless are the only ones who would have been affected by Measure S, so many of the homeless counted in the Homeless Count (people living with relatives/friends for example) are immaterial to a discussion on a sitting ban.

    Like I said to cjcris23, I look forward to the solutions that you and the rest of
    the Anti-S folks come up with in the coming months. I’ll be interested
    in seeing how you manage to solve the problem without making Berkeley
    more of a homeless magnet than it already is or putting any more undue
    burdens on the homeowners of Berkeley.

  • Mbfarrel

    The City of Berkeley may not have had an official policy keeping African Americans to the west of Sacramento, but a group of the major mortgage lenders did have an official, and recorded, agreement to not lend to any non-whites attempting to purchase homes in the area roughly east of Sacramento. I recall that the agreement was made just after WWII, and was in effect until the Rumford Fair Housing Act of 1963.

  • Bob Offer-Westort

    I suggest that you look at both HUD’s 2012 and 2009 “chronic homeless” definitions, as well as the definition that the county used in its 2009 count. I don’t think you’d find that the people generally expected to be cited on Shattuck and Telegraph would, by and large, meet that definition. (Certainly some would, but probably not most.) You can find these things in Section 4 of the 2009 Homeless Count and a HUD document entitled “Defining Chronic Homelessness”. For what it’s worth, the three don’t match up. (Most particularly, the current definition is far more inclusive, but, still, it wouldn’t reach a large portion of the younger people on Telegraph and Shattuck.) It is impossible to contend that Measure S would only have had an affect on chronically homeless people without knowing how the Berkeley Police Department would have set enforcement guidelines, unless you thought that BPD was *only* going to enforce Measure S against people with disabilities. That seems unlikely, but at this point I suppose it’s all wild, alternative historical speculation.

    Homeless people and homeless service providers will not fix the economy. You know that perfectly well. An effort to improve business downtown and on Telegraph will probably require collaboration between business owners and the rest of the community. Divisive tactics like Measure S don’t foster collaboration. I’m glad that City Council looked at a Telegraph Avenue plan last night, but I wonder if we’d be in a better place if that had happened months ago before an expensive, divisive campaign. The campaign against Measure S has a responsibility to fix Berkeley’s economy. Just like you do. We also had a responsibility to prevent a terrible idea from becoming law. Just like you had. Succeeding in the latter does not increase our responsibility in the former: The only possible successful path forward requires working together.

    Additionally, Berkeley will not solve homelessness by itself. Homelessness is a national problem, and requires a national solution. That said, there are things that we can do to improve service provision in Berkeley. I hope you’ll be supportive of the attempt to open a daytime youth drop-in centre, so that young people downtown and on Telegraph have an alternative realistic, safe, indoor place to be.

    Take care!

  • Neighbor

    >native homeless folk
    I’m trying to get my head around this concept.
    So only people born in Berkeley should be homeless in Berkeley? So maybe we should have a national registry for homeless folks and force them to return to the town of their birth, sort of like Ceasar Augustus did in the Christmas story?

  • The Sharkey

    It is impossible to contend that Measure S would only have had an affect on chronically homeless people without knowing how the Berkeley Police
    Department would have set enforcement guidelines,

    Coming from the head of a campaign that kept repeatedly saying that they knew exactly how BPD would enforce the law, this statement is rather ironic don’t you think?

    The campaign against Measure S has a responsibility to fix Berkeley’s
    economy. Just like you do. We also had a responsibility to prevent a
    terrible idea from becoming law. Just like you had.

    Nope. Not even close. I do not share your opinions about Measure S and Measure T. I voted in favor of both of them because I thought it would help Berkeley. Those who campaigned against them – like you – now hold the reins. Good luck.

    I hope you’ll be supportive of the attempt to open a daytime youth
    drop-in centre, so that young people downtown and on Telegraph have an
    alternative realistic, safe, indoor place to be.

    If you can figure out how to pay for it without adding to the current burden of Berkeley taxpayers, it sounds great to me.

  • The Sharkey

    It’s not hard to figure out. Berkeley has to deal with homeless people from all up and down the state because we make ourselves attractive to them. If we were less attractive to lifestyle homeless and vagrants, there would be fewer homeless people in Berkeley, and our generous services would be more adequate.

  • Neighbor

    Please, though: define: “native homeless folk”.
    The words you use are important. Xenophobia against yucky vagrants is still xenophobia.

  • Neighbor

    >Those who campaigned against them – like you – now hold the reins. Good luck.

    Nope. If your measure had passed, the onus would be on the city and proponents to make it work. The measure *didn’t* pass, therefore no-one is obligated to do anything. many people don’t even think there is a problem.
    Do you feel absolved of all responsibility if things don’t go exactly your way?

  • Bob Offer-Westort

    So… I suppose this is what I get for not registering with Disqus or something, but I’m Bob Offer-Westort, & I didn’t write that message, tho I largely agree with it. There’s a better historical parallel than Caesar Agustus, which is the Poor Laws of Tudor England, which did precisely what… Pseudo-Bob Offer-Westort? is saying.

  • Neighbor

    Wait: which message?

  • The Sharkey

    So the campaign that kept saying that there were lots of easy solutions already on the books, and that deliberately mislead voters, and that fought against the one proposal that might have done something about the problem behavior in our downtown areas has no responsibility for fixing those problems? Interesting.

  • The Sharkey

    No, thanks. I’m not interested in having a hair-splitting contest with you.

    I look forward to the solutions that you and the rest of the Anti-S
    folks come up with in the coming months. I’ll be interested in seeing
    how you manage to solve the problem without making Berkeley more of a
    homeless magnet than it already is or putting any more undue burdens on
    the homeowners of Berkeley.

  • Neighbor

    You don’t seem to understand that fighting against a proposal is not the same as fighting for something else.

  • Neighbor

    I expect better from you than this silly copypasta, Sharkey.

    Personally, not seeing a problem, I’m in no hurry to come up with a solution!

  • The Sharkey

    Aggressive street people taking over the downtown sidewalks and driving away customers isn’t a problem? I guess you must not be a small business owner in downtown Berkeley then.

  • The Sharkey

    You don’t seem to have been paying attention to what was actually coming out of the Anti-S campaign. They’re the ones who talked about all the other easy solutions that were supposedly available. I don’t know if they would have gotten as many votes if they had just argued in favor of the status quo.

  • Neighbor

    Well, although my opinion may not matter to you, me not being a land-owner, or business owner; I live and work in Berkeley, and am raising a family here. I don’t think there is any more of a problem than there has ever been. I like Berkeley.

  • Berkeley Resident

    Thanks. Geocommons worked. Just getting back to this. Was able to view all maps in Geocommons without glitches, seamlessly. Much to be learned by viewing this information in this dimension, visually and with the ability to compare and contrast, etc. Wondering if future visual presentations of information like this could be presented in Geocommons without including the maps, embedded in the article. Just a link to Geo might work. Just thinking that we are living in times when the general population has various combinations of computer power and that, seems to me, will be the case for a bit of time to come. It’s getting more complex daily, but interesting to observe.

  • The Sharkey

    I like Berkeley too. Possibly more than you do, since I scrimped and saved so I could buy property here. What I don’t like is people using the sidewalk in our downtown business districts as their living room during business hours. While you may think that’s awesome and part of what makes Berkeley Berkeley, I don’t.

  • Neighbor

    >agressive people taking over the sidewalks and driving away customers

    I don’t agree that this is happening.

    >the sidewalk as a living room

    (also known as “street life”) i like a lively downtown with more than just shopping happening.

    However, I think we are pretty close to a respectful “agree to disagree” which is probably the most we can expect. :)

  • Neighbor

    The war on what, exactly?
    I feel what you are saying,but it’s a bit creepy.

  • The Sharkey

    Street life is more than just kids sitting on the sidewalk with pit bulls and signs that say “TOO UGLY TO PROSTITUTE.” We have lovely parks within spitting distance of both major downtown areas that were being discussed in Measure S that I think would make better places for people to sit around on the ground.

  • guest

    “I’m Bob Offer-Westort, & I didn’t write that message…”

    This should not happen under any circumstances.

  • Becky O’Malley

    Not only that, there were restrictive covenants in deeds when houses were sold, and not just against African-Americans but against Asians too, and based on plain old racial prejudice, not “socioeconomic trends”. I know quite a few people still living who can tell stories of their experience of discrimination when they tried to buy houses east of Sacramento in the 50s and 60s–former Councilmember Ying Lee is one of them. Some say the line was Grove Street (the former name of MLK). It’s true that white people were always allowed to live in West Berkeley. The musician Johnny Otis, raised by a Greek-American family in West Berkeley, was famous for adopting the African-American culture. Someone should do a historical article on this, since some Berkeleyside readers don’t seem to know much about it.

  • Howie Mencken

    The war on trivial distractions and even more trivial characters which deny us the great potential this city has.

  • Neighbor

    >the war on trivial characters
    So you mean like a war on weirdos?
    Interesting. When do we start rounding them up?