MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Who voted for whom in the Memphis city elections? It depends on where you live.
Final, unofficial results from the election commission show 88,668 people cast ballots out of 373,091 eligible voters in early voting and Election Day on Thursday.
That means 23.77% of voters — fewer than 1 out of 4 — made their voices heard in the city’s biggest local election. The city election in 2019 had 26.7% turnout, and the one in 2015 had a 28% turnout. But the one in 2011 only saw an 18% turnout.
While the early vote was strong, it trailed off by Election Day. Early voters outnumbered Election Day voters by 26,000.
Where did they live? The biggest bloc of votes (2,732) was cast in the precinct that runs along the Poplar corridor in East Memphis, between Highland and Mendenhall, taking in the Red Acres and Laurelwood neighborhoods.
That was closely followed (with 2,386 votes) by the Midtown precinct that takes in Central Gardens and Cooper-Young.
The third-largest bloc of votes (2,254) was in the East Memphis neighborhood centered around White Station Middle School, roughly between Shady Grove and Sam Cooper Boulevard.
Where did each candidate receive their strongest support?
Cole Perry of Perry Strategies, which worked with Floyd Bonner’s campaign, plugged in the data to make a helpful color-coded map. It shows the top four candidates’ support broken down starkly by neighborhood.
Paul Young, who claimed victory with 24,408 votes (27.6%) had his strongest base of support in the densely populated Midtown, Downtown and University areas.
But at Highland Street, things changed. Nearly all of East Memphis from Highland eastward, past I-240 and into Cordova, was Floyd Bonner country. Bonner came in second place with 19,985 votes (22.5%).
Willie Herenton’s territory covered wide swaths of South and Southwest Memphis, Whitehaven and nearly all territory south of I-240, as well as Frayser and Raleigh to the north. Herenton was in third place with 18,990 votes (21.5%).
Van Turner, who placed just behind Herenton with 18,778 votes (21.3%) had hotspots of support in the heart of South and North Memphis, and around Hickory Hill.