Sunday, September 7, 2014

Voting has begun in North Carolina!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the Old North State: voting is underway in our general election. And yes, it's only 2 months before the General Election Day, the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.

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.