Saturday, September 17, 2016

A week's worth of NC accepted mail-in ballots & an interesting trend

We now have a week's worth of North Carolina mail-in absentee ballots, both requested and returned & accepted, and an interesting trend seems to be emerging.

Again, a cautionary tale: this may be an early trend that reverts back to the norm of what we saw in 2012's general election when it comes to accepted mail-in ballots, but this first week seems to indicate a potential strong interest in this year's general election.

First, here's the breakdown of requested ballots and their status (the first line are ballots that have not be returned) through Friday, Sept. 16:

Over 50,000 ballots have been requested, with nearly 1,500 returned and accepted as votes (there are nearly 150 ballots returned that were deficient in some way).

Next, I tracked the cumulative accepted mail-in ballots by party registration over the past week:

Next is the comparison to the same day as in 2012 and where things stand in 2016. While registered Democrats in 2012 took an early lead, by a week and a half into the returned 2012 mail-in and accepted ballots period, registered Republicans took the lead and maintained it for the rest of the period leading up to the November election.

Right now, total returned and accepted ballots are running at 300 percent of the same day in 2012, with the following breakdowns by party registration:

  • Registered Democrats: 316 percent ahead of where they were the same day in 2012
  • Registered unaffiliated voters: 461 percent ahead of where they were the same day in 2012
  • Registered Republicans: 234 percent ahead of where they were the same day in 2012

Finally, of the nearly 48,500 ballots requested that are still outstanding, the percentage breakdown by party registration is:

Again, understanding that we are only in the first week of mail-in North Carolina absentee ballots, the trend line seems to indicate a real interest in this year elections. If the trend lines continue to show an above average performance to 2012, we may start to see an indication that this could be something to watch more closely as we get to November. Another aspect that will need some further analysis would be: are these voters ones who voted in 2012, and if so, how did they vote: did they cast ballots in-person and have switched to mail-in to "get their ballot counted", or some other explanation? Further data analysis will be done in the future to see what 'kind' of voter (new, repeat mail-in, new mail-in but voted in person) are currently in this aspect of the ballots race.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Status of NC Mail-In Ballots as of 9-16-16

Here is the status of NC's mail-in absentee ballots as of 9-16-16:

Of the outstanding mail-in ballots, 36 percent are from registered Democrats, 35 percent from registered Republicans, and 28 percent from registered unaffiliated voters.

Of the ballots accepted, 45 percent are from Democrats, 31 percent from Republicans, and 24 percent from unaffiliated voters.

In comparison to 2012's same day of mail-in absentee ballots:

Democrats are 214 percent of their comparable 2012 same-day numbers, Republicans are 153* percent of their comparable 2012 same-day numbers, and unaffiliated voters are 288* percent of their comparable 2012 same-day numbers.

There seems to be a quickening of mail-in ballots from North Carolina voters. It's still early (today will be a week of accepting ballots), but the trends, if they hold, may seem to indicate a real interest in this year's election, by the three registered voter blocks.

*Update: corrected a typo of the percentages for GOP and unaffiliated.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Status of Mail-In Absentee NC Ballots as of 9-15-16

Here are today's numbers of mail-in absentee ballots requested and accepted as of 9-15-16:

A total of over 45,000 ballots have been requested, and 44,680 are still outstanding, with registered Democrats being 37 percent of those outstanding ballots, 35 percent from registered Republicans, and 28 percent from registered unaffiliated voters.

Among accepted ballots:

Currently, registered Democratic accepted mail-in ballots are running 132 percent ahead of the same day in 2012, registered unaffiliated accepted mail-in ballots are 170 percent ahead of 2012's same-day numbers, and registered Republicans are 81 percent of their 2012 same-day numbers.

Again: it's is TOO EARLY to make a definitely claim about these trend lines. Be cautious in over-interpretation with less than a week of mail-in ballots accepted.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Comparing the start of 2012 to 2016 mail-in absentee ballots in NC

Several folks (and reporters) have inquired about the pace of the mail-in ballots so far in 2016 (with only 4 days of accepted ballots so far) to the first few days of 2012. In the below chart, the columns represent the cumulative party registration of voters who had mail-in ballots accepted in 2012, while the lines indicate the cumulative party registration of voters who have had mail-in ballots accepted so far in 2016.

While it's hard to tell from the line indications in the early days so far (the registered Republican line hides the registered unaffiliated line), registered Democrats are at 144 percent of where they were the same comparable day in 2012 with their accepted mail-in ballots, registered unaffiliated voters are 153 percent of their same-day 2012 numbers, and registered Republicans are 91 percent of where they were on the same day in 2012.

A word of extreme caution: it is still VERY EARLY in the process to make any definitive analysis or conclusions so far regarding the pace of mail-in ballots in North Carolina. As you can see in the later part of the above graph, Republicans tend to take over the advantage when it comes to mail-in balloting and are a disproportionate percentage of the mail-in absentee ballots cast. Give it another another week & half or two weeks and we'll compare the numbers to see how things are progressing (above 2012, at the same level, etc.) before any definitive analysis can be rendered.

Absentee Ballots Cast So Far in 2016 Election in North Carolina on 9-14-16 (updated)

Updated*: As of 9-14-16, the absentee mail-in ballots requested and accepted so far are:

*Of the outstanding ballots (42K), the party registration breakdown is:

So far, 338 mail-in ballots have been returned and accepted so far, with the following daily breakdowns of accepted ballots by voters' party registration:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Voting is underway for the 2016 election in North Carolina

With the start of mail-in balloting in North Carolina last Friday (Sept. 9, 2016), votes are officially being cast for the 2016 election.

In 2012, 218,102 ballots were cast by mail, with 50 percent coming from registered Republicans, 28 percent from registered Democrats, and 22 percent from registered unaffiliated voters (registered Libertarians were only 490 mail-in ballots).*

In comparison, in-person early ballots were 2,556,228, with 49 percent coming from registered Democrats, 30 percent from registered Republicans, and 21 percent from registered unaffiliated voters (again, registered Libertarians were zero percent, or 5,804 ballots).

So far in 2016, the mail-in ballots in North Carolina that have been accepted are:

By percentages, accepted mail-in ballots are 47 percent from registered Democrats, 27 percent from registered unaffiliated voters, 26 percent from registered Republicans, and one percent from registered Libertarians.

*updated to include requests from fax and e-mail requested.