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As Xan points out, a weakness of this viz is that it invites interpretation as a stacked bar. The fact that the vertical ordinal ranking applies only to the leftmost cells, while the order of everything to the right is just an artifact of the tiling algorithm, creates confusion.

I confess I'm not a fan of treemaps. At least the axes of a treemap have no pretension to numeric value. Here the vertical axis conveys size ranking for some of the leaves but not for the others. It seems to violate some cardinal principle of good design.


Can I meekly raise my hand, about the consistency of the data in the second chart?

I happen to live in Hennepin County in MN. Is it really possible that Hennepin County's 1,232,483 souls has more voters than the 2,333,054 folks in Queens County, NY?

That aside, I think the chart type is good. I like the sense of the total it gives.


@James: I had to go look it up, because that surprised me too. I assume your total population values are correct, and I took the election results from politico. It looks like the Minnesota ballot had much more variety than New York (9 candidates vs 4), but even with this extra "spread", there are 9112 more Republican and Democratic voters in Hennepin county than in New York.

Hennepin also seems to bring out a much larger proportion of its population to vote: 54.5% vs 26.9%. There must be some significant demographic differences between Queens and the Twin Cities, but as I haven't spent time in either county, I'll leave you to look into how those differences come into play on election day.



Thanks for the follow up there. I was struggling to find any data in NY; voting and politics is near and dear, the data not so much.

I do know that historically, MN turns out a higher proportion of voters on election day than most other states. I've lived in and around the Twin Cities most of my life, and I can say that the polls are steadily busy on election day.

Anecdotally, at my polling place in 2008, I got in line at 7:45 and it was already several hundred people long. I walked out with my "I Voted" sticker around 8:15 - 8:20 and the line was just as long.

At there any handy links you can point me at?


Also, for what it is worth, I think the ease with which Minnesotan's can vote is huge factor in turnout too. Same-day registration, no-excuse absentee balloting and so on.

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