A GIScience approach to analyzing spatial patterns of voter turnout in Omaha, Nebraska

Kaitlyn Taylor, H. Jason Combs, Paul R. Burger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Scholars from a variety of disciplines have analyzed voter participation, with most studies focusing on socio-demographic issues to explain turnout. Often overlooked, however, is the geography of voter participation. Omaha, Nebraska presents an economically and ethnically diverse study area to examine geographic factors related to turnout. Over 51 percent of the state’s registered voters live in three counties—Douglas, Sarpy, and Lancaster—which contain the Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan areas. This project employs Geographic Information Science (GIScience) along with electoral geography principles and spatial analysis to evaluate voter participation across the Omaha metropolitan area. Getis-Ord Gi* statistic is utilized to demonstrate statistically significant spatial clustering of high and low values of voter participation and turnout at the census block-group level. This study also examines a number of demographic variables through stepwise regression that help explain voting patterns in the Omaha metropolitan area. Results indicate that, independent of party affiliation, educated, middle-class, white populations in Omaha have higher voter participation rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-114
Number of pages16
JournalGeographical Bulletin - Gamma Theta Upsilon
Volume57
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Fingerprint

voter turnout
information science
voter
participation
metropolitan area
agglomeration area
electoral geography
geography
spatial analysis
middle class
voting
census
statistics
science
regression
Group

Keywords

  • GIScience
  • Nebraska
  • Voter turnout

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

A GIScience approach to analyzing spatial patterns of voter turnout in Omaha, Nebraska. / Taylor, Kaitlyn; Jason Combs, H.; Burger, Paul R.

In: Geographical Bulletin - Gamma Theta Upsilon, Vol. 57, No. 2, 01.01.2016, p. 99-114.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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