And by voting, I mean that people are requesting ballots by mail to submit their votes: 7,516 voters to be exact on the first day that mail-in ballots could be sent out.
And while none have been returned as yet, some early indications could be seen in some of the key numbers:
|Requests for Mail-In Ballots in 2014 North Carolina General Election as of September 5, 2014|
In looking at a few key things:
- Registered Democrats are 42% of the requests, with registered Republicans at 38% and registered unaffiliated voters at 20%.
- Ballots going to white voters are 81% of the requests, with black voters at 14%.
- Women are 57% of the requests, with men just 42%. Within female voters, 46% are registered Democrats, 36% Republicans, and 18% unaffiliated. Within male voters, 37% are registered Democrats, 40% Republicans, and 23% unaffiliated.
- Average age for requested ballots so far: 65 years old
- Pretty evenly divided across congressional districts, though both Congressional District 5 (Republican Rep. Foxx vs. Democrat Josh Brannon) and Congressional District 6 (Republican Mark Walker vs. Democrat Laura Fjeld) have 10% each of the requested ballot totals.
Historically, ballots coming from registered Republicans have been the plurality of requests. These early numbers, however, may give us a sense of the crucial "enthusiasm" levels of partisans and non-partisans (although my guess is that both registered Democrats and Republicans will far outweigh their non-partisan unaffiliated (independent) voters).
Over the next couple of weeks, I'll keep up with the mail-in ballot requests and the (more important) returned status ("accepted") in this area of voting.
Just as a reminder: traditionally, mail-in absentee ballots are usually 1-2% of the overall total of ballots cast. However, if the U.S. Senate race between Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis remains at a dead-even tie, then these potential 55-60,000 votes could be crucial.