A data analysis of the Daryl Dudley recall effort

In October, hundreds of Fourth Ward residents signed a petition supporting a recall election for Councilman Daryl Dudley over his support of ward redistricting option Trial D amended. Recall supporters contended that this option would push precincts that voted against Dudley in the April 2010 election into the First Ward.

We did a semester-long project in our Computer-Assisted Reporting class that analyzed where these recall signatures were coming from. We found a substantial number of them came from precincts that overwhelmingly voted against Dudley. Media reports said around 830 signatures were gathered, but we were able to only map 792. To initiate a recall election, 1,520 signatures were needed.

Four neighborhoods that would have moved into the First Ward under Trial D — Old Southwest, Westmount, Park Hill and Quarry Heights — had a large number of people who supported recalling their councilman. These neighborhoods also gave him the lowest percentage of votes in the April 2010 election, which a close contest he won against three other candidates.

  • 389 Fourth Ward residents from precincts 4F, 4I and 5A, which make up parts of the Old Southwest, Park Hill and Quarry Height s neighborhoods, signed the petition. Dudley received only 12.48 percent of the vote from those precincts in the last election. Four candidates were on the ballot. 

  • The precinct that generated the second largest number of signatures included parts of the Historic Sunset Lane neighborhood as well as two surrounding neighborhoods. In precinct 4D, which was counted together with Precincts 1F and 2E, 19.95 percent of voters supported Dudley.
  • The precinct with the third largest number of signatures, 4E, includes parts of the Quarry Heights neighborhood. Dudley received 20.76 percent of the vote in this precinct.

We publicly mapped our results on Geocommons, a data visualization website.

http://geocommons.com/maps/118380

Here’s how you can understand the map of the signatures that we’ve put together:

The boxes outlined in black are voting precincts. The light red color indicates the Fourth Ward, and the bright red boxes on the map are neighborhood associations. The black circles, of course, show signature locations. To see how many people in each precinct signed the petition, click on the precinct and scroll until you see a “count” of the signatures.

— Will Guldin, Dan Karlin and Katy Bergen

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