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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Madison Registered Voters: Numbers Don't Add Up?

Discover the Unexpected™: hidden voters!

I'm bugged by the low turnout for Madison's city election yesterday. MDL says 11% of you bothered to vote. If you don't want to vote, perhaps you could at least do us the favor of extending the franchise to us country folks who do?

But maybe Madison already has. Consider these numbers:
  • Registered voters in Madison: 5201.
  • Population of Madison (2000 Census): 6540.
  • Madison residents 18 and older (2000 Census): 5148.
  • Adult percentage of Madison population (2000): 78.7%.
  • Estimated Madison population in 2007 (SD Gov's Office Ec. Dev.): 6319.
  • Estimated adult population (based on 2000 adult percentage): 4974.
  • Percentage of Americans registered to vote: 73.5%.
  • Number of registered we'd expect to find in Madison if we followed the national rate of voter registration: 3656.
If Madison were a typical town, we'd need a total population of almost 9000 to produce the 5200 registered voters our official count says we have. Given our current estimated population, even if every adult in town registered to vote, we'd still fall short of the official registered-voter count by about 200. I haven't seen ACORN around town. Are the extra voters just emigrés and "expirees" who haven't been scrubbed from the rolls yet? Are Jeff Heinemeyer and other Lake Madison folks still registering in town?

Of course, with 11% of that inflated total showing up to vote, maybe it's not a big deal. But somebody's numbers are off, either the city, the state, or the U.S. Census.


  1. Find out how many registered voters are Full-Time RV owners who don't actually reside in Madison and your numbers will seem more accurate. The numbers are around 850 to 1000 who pay sales tax on their vehicles in South Dakota, have their mail forwarded to wherever they are traveling, but only claim SD residency for income tax purposes and lower sales tax on vehicle registration. Plus, there are a few dead ones on the list.

  2. I am a cummuter and the polls were closed before and after the time I get home. Guess I should have voted absentee..

  3. I didn't vote because there was nobody to vote for. I am miffed that this is the best Madison could come up with.

  4. How many registered voters might still be on the books from a few years ago when DSU registered all incoming freshmen as Lake County voters? The reason being so they could vote for the second penny sales tax designated to fund the community center.

  5. City Commissioners! We have City Commissioners?


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