On Tuesday night, the results of three contentious ballot measures in Minneapolis became known: a measure to strengthen the mayor’s office by vesting most executive power in it passed, a measure to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety failed, and a measure allowing the City Council to enact a rent control ordinance passed.
Those were the overall results. But looking at how Minneapolitans voted on a ward by ward basis reveals some interesting geographic patterns about how the vote shook out.
Question 1: Strong mayor
Minneapolis’ Ward 13, an affluent area in the city’s southwest, usually has the city’s highest voter turnout, a distinction it maintained in Tuesday’s election. Ward 13 also delivered a decisive margin in favor of strengthening the mayor’s office, with more than twice as many voters supporting the question as opposing it. In other wards, support and opposition was more evenly divided. Ward 7, on the west side of the city, including neighborhoods like Kenwood, Bryn Mawr and parts of downtown, also backed the question decisively. The wards delivering the strongest margins against the question were Wards 1 in northeast and Ward 10 (the Uptown area), though the ward delivering the most "no" votes was Ward 12, in the southeast corner of the city. (Still, "yes" votes outnumbered "no" votes there.)
Yes on strong mayor
No on strong mayor
Votes on strong mayor ballot question by ward
Question 2: Department of Public Safety
If Ward 13 strongly favored a strong mayor, it almost as strongly disfavored replacing the Minneapolis police department. The margins there on question 2 were almost exactly the same as for question 1, except the opposite: more than twice as many opposed the question as supported it. On this question, Ward 10 delivered the biggest margin in favor, but Ward 12 delivered the most total votes in favor of any ward (but Ward 12 voters overall rejected the measure, delivering more votes to "no.") North Minneapolis Wards 4 and 5, an area where a large portion of the city’s Black residents live, both rejected the measure, though overall turnout in those wards was relatively low compared to other wards in the city.
Yes on Department of Public Safety
No on Department of Public Safety
Votes on Department of Public Safety ballot question by ward
Voting on the rent control measure didn’t correspond quite as neatly as the "yes on 1, no on 2"/"no on 1, yes on 2" votes tended to. Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the biggest margins in favor of the rent control measure came in areas of the city with high numbers of renters, including Wards 6, 9 and 10. This measure won a majority of votes in 10 of the city’s 13 wards — only wards 7, 11 and 13 rejected it (though again, due to high turnout especially in Ward 13, they provided a large number of "no" votes overall.)