03/21/2013 09:35 am ET

Auto Insurance Rates Drive Detroit Voters Into Hiding

Alok Sharma analyzes data for a living. In 2010, he had a client, a politician, who was running for office and wanted to know if it was worth his time to campaign door-to-door in Detroit’s high-rise apartment buildings. Sharma thought the answer might be found by running a high-rise address through the Qualified Voter File, a public document of every registered voter in Michigan. He chose his own: the Kales Building, with 18 floors overlooking Grand Circus Park and 116 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

It is, Sharma said, full of young professionals like him, as well as empty-nesters -- just the type of middle-class people who are likely to be engaged, active voters. When Sharma looked, the building was fully occupied.

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