Source: Erie County Board of Elections
Note: Vote totals were tabulated across every party line. Voting districts in some municipalities changed between 2012 and 2016.
This year in Erie County, 14,102 more people voted in the presidential race than in 2012 – a 3.4 percent increase in voter turnout, including absentee ballots, according to official results released in mid-December by the Erie County Board of Elections.
Here’s what we learned from those results:
• Hillary Clinton won the county this year, with 50 percent of the vote, a 6 percent margin of victory over Donald Trump. Her margin of victory was a fraction of Barack Obama’s 16 percent margin over Mitt Romney four years ago, when Obama won Erie County with 57 percent of the vote.
• Cheektowaga, Evans, Hamburg, the City of Tonawanda and West Seneca all flipped from blue to red this year.
Four years ago, Cheektowaga was the town in Erie County where Obama posted the largest margin of victory – outside of Buffalo and Lackawanna – at 16 percentage points higher than Romney. This year, Trump turned the traditionally blue town red, eking out a 1.4 percent margin of victory there. Democrats lost 3,351 votes compared to four years ago, and Republicans gained 3,463.
Among the local towns that Trump turned red from blue, he recorded the largest margin of victory – 17 percent – in Evans.
• Votes for third-party candidates almost tripled in Erie County. This year, 19,087 people voted for one of two third-party candidates, accounting for 4.5 percent of the total votes cast – compared to 1.7 percent of ballots that were cast for one of three third-party candidates four years ago.
• Overall, City of Buffalo residents cast 1,640 fewer ballots in the presidential race this year, a 1.7 percent decline from four years ago. Five of the nine Council Districts in the city had a lower turnout this year than in 2012. The biggest decline in turnout this year was in the Masten District, where 1,232 fewer people voted – a 10 percent decrease.
• Voter turnout increased more than 8 percent in Clarence, Eden, Elma and Lancaster this year. Turnout was up this year in every suburb other than Lackawanna, which saw a 2.5 percent decrease.
• Support for write-in candidates soared this year: 779 Erie County residents this year voted for write-in candidates, compared to 21 four years ago. This year, Erie County residents cast 593 ballots for Evan McMullin, the former CIA operative from Utah who ran as an independent candidate.