San Mateo residents proudly point to some of the highest voter turnout in the state. It should come as no surprise to anyone, however, that voting rates are unevenly distributed across socioeconomic groups, with underserved communities turning out to vote in lower numbers as clearly apparent from this map of the 2018 primary election.
Democracy is predicated on not only open elections but also individual voter participation. When underserved communities are less likely to vote, everyone’s interests and preferences are less reflected in public policy.
Addressing this inequality to increase political participation in the democratic process is critical to ensure all voices are heard.