The 2016 presidential election in Massachusetts, by the numbers

Data from the November elections gives us some insight into who votes how across the Bay State.

Written by Beryl Lipton
Edited by JPat Brown

Of all municipalities in Massachusetts, the tiny town of Tyringham, pop. 327, had the largest percentage of participating eligible (registered, active and inactive) voters in our most recent November elections.

According to numbers recently released by the MA Election Commission, nearly 90% of those Berkshire locale residents that could participate placed a vote.

Bringing up the rear in terms of citizen election participation was Springfield, where just 53.1% of all eligible voters cast their votes. Between in-person votes (early and Election Day), absentee ballots, and provisional ballots (counted and not) the total participation in the state was 3,378,801.

Unsurprisingly, Boston, the capital and largest city in the state, saw the greatest number of citizens voting by absentee ballot: 11074. However, it had one of the smallest percentages of absentee votes; those who wrote in from away only accounted for approximately 2.68% of votes cast by residents of the city.

In contrast, Gosnold, Massachusetts - a Cape Cod town just off of Martha’s Vineyard that is considered the least populated town in the Bay State - had a whopping 36% of its votes come from absentee ballots; another 6 votes were placed early and only 17 of town’s participants showed up on election day to cast their ballots. Another three of the top five absentee towns also came from the Cape region, which experiences extreme flunctuations in population between the winter and summer months.

Take a look at some of the other top numbers from the November elections and then explore the data yourself, embedded below.

Top 10 % of participating eligible voters

  • Tyringham - 89.52%
  • Berlin - 87.73%
  • Leyden - 87.61%
  • Plainfield - 87.47%
  • Oakham - 87.38%
  • Goshen - 87.28%
  • Nahant - 87.20%
  • Middlefield - 86.97%
  • Carlisle - 86.79%
  • Westhampton / Medfield - 86.78%

Top 5 percentage of absentee voters:

  • Gosnold - 36.64%
  • Aquinnah - 16.53%
  • Chilmark - 15.89%
  • Provincetown - 11.73%
  • Monterey - 11.38%

Highest % participants with provisional ballots not counted

  • West Brookfield - 1.34%

Towns where over 50% of participants voted at an early voting location

  • Eastham - 54.67% (2024 out of 3702)
  • Carlisle - 52.29% (1773 out of 3391)
  • Mashpee - 52.19% (4689 out of 8984)

Check out the full dataset embedded below, or on the request page.


Image via Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0