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Voter Turnout Map

Maps show support for City Council winners

on November 26, 2012

More than 31,300 voters in Richmond cast a ballot this year, a 10 percent decrease from the last presidential election, according to numbers updated on the Contra Costa County’s election division site on Nov. 17. In 2008, more than 35,000 voters in the city cast a ballot, which was 84 percent of registered voters. This year the voter turnout in the city was just under 72 percent.

Below are maps that show where the three City Council winners– Nat Bates, Tom Butt and Gary Bell– received their votes. Bates received the most votes overall, with Butt second and Bell third. Butt received the highest percentage of support (69 percent) in a single precinct.

As you can see from the maps, Butt received the largest percentage of votes from precincts in the western area of the city including Point Richmond, where he lives, while Bates and Bell got the most support in the precincts in the middle of the city. What do you think the data reveals about where and why the three candidates got their biggest support? Share your perspective in the comments section below.

Council Legend

Nat Bates:

Tom Butt:

Gary Bell:


  1. Betty Reid Soskin on November 26, 2012 at 11:10 am

    What immediately jumped out for me is that this is evidence pointing to a growing racial barrier being re-constructed week-by-week by the studied animosity being generated by the antics of one council-member against another, and setting in motion a climate of hate that gets played out on our streets and in our homes. What a tragedy! That it is a personal vendetta is obvious, but it is bleeding into the community in ways that are terrifying as we watch it played out on camera each week. No person of conscience does not regret it, and whatever one’s race or ethnicity — it’s portends an uneasy year for us all unless an answer can be found, and soon.

    • Jeanne Kortz on November 27, 2012 at 9:07 am

      I totally agree with Betty. The division is scaring me day by day. That this city council member votes against all that is healthy and good for the people of Richmond is certainly puzzling, and I too feel he has a personal vendetta against certain individuals and organizations. Also, his support of Chevron over the health and safety of our residents, and his non- support of progressive initiatives is beyond my comprehension. It’s the progressive movement, with people of all ethnic backgrounds and races working together, that ultimately got equal rights for women and minorities.
      It’s shameful that certain council members vote for dirty, unhealthy industry, and use race as an issue to get citizens to vote for them. These two council members could care less about the poor and disenfranchised in Richmond. If they did, they would not stand with Chevron, and other polluting, dirty industries.

  2. Deborah Bayer on November 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I agree with the above comment. Race does play a part in Richmond politics, as does a lot of old history and jockeying for power. When I moved to Richmond 20 years ago I felt like I was coming in to the 7th inning of a baseball game and everyone knew the plays and could give you a play by play account of who scored, who walked, who fouled out during each minute of the game. That is part of what got me so excited about the RPA. They are about issues I care about, not about personal power.

  3. Kathleen Wimer on November 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I wonder if there’s a correlation between where the biggest and greatest number of billboards appeared and the votes cast by residents of those areas.

  4. Mike Raccoon Eyes on November 27, 2012 at 7:03 am

    While all these observations are important, I was the only Native Candidate to run for Council, I personally have moved on, the election is really over.

  5. Tim Warner on November 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    While I find these maps interesting, I would point out that we cannot draw too many conclusions from these alone. First, Nat Bates did well throughout Richmond at least in part because he’s got a lot of name recognition. Second, he had giant billboards in Central Richmond, which no doubt helped his numbers there. But third, and most important, since we all voted for multiple candidates, it’s hard to know where each fell in terms of priority for voters. Tom Butt would likely have done better in the Richmond Annex, for example, were it not for both Marilyn and Eduardo campaigning heavily and jointly there.

    I don’t discount race, but I think other factors were majorly at play here. Speaking for myself, I didn’t vote for Bates because of his politics, not because of the color of his skin. I have voted for him in the past.

    I do appreciate the Richmond Confidential editors putting together this kind of info and would love to see more analysis of the influence of money in Richmond politics (at all levels).

  6. Tim Patel on November 28, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Excellent GIS work! Thank you Richmond Confidential for sharing this information. Keep up the great work.

  7. Robyn on December 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Mr Bates and Mr Booze take turns being divisive and inflammatory. Bates cooled it the last several months of the election campaign and let Booze pick up the mantle because he was safe from the vote. I have no doubt Bates will now once again show his true colors. I voted for Booze. HUGE MISTAKE. The wedge that they, and several of their cronies in the audience, drive into the community is outrageous. This is not about race, this is about two guys who are afraid of losing power. They could have done something positive with their council positions, but they chose to serve their corporate sponsors. Bates has been on the council for upteen years and what has he accomplished? They both appear intent on keeping this city in the 1960’s while the remainder of the council continues to try to take the community forward. What amazes me, is that so many people fall for their rhetoric, but what amazes me the most is that in spite of them, we shall overcome.

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