Voter database shows trends in names

Sometimes huge databases offer opportunities for fun stories other than their original purpose.

I’ve gotten some mileage out of Ohio’s database of about 8 million registered voters. The most recent example was ranking names for popularity and by age, to show how some once popular names like Mary are way down the list among young adults. Check out the name game database story.

Earlier, using a different version of the state’s database, I was able to identify which names lean Republican and Democrat. In both cases, we offered databases online so people could search for their own names.

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