The total absentee ballots, by party registration and method of voting, stands at 1,970,525:
This represents a nearly 8 percent increase from the same day in 2012.
In terms of party registration within the voting methods (both mail-in and in-person), the total ballots breaks down to 43 percent from registered Democrats, 31 percent from registered Republicans, and 25 percent from registered unaffiliated:
These party percentages have held pretty steady over the past few days. However, in looking at the comparison of party break down to four years ago, the notable differences are still there in this year's absentee ballots:
Registered Democrats are 3.4 percent behind their same-day totals from 2012, while registered Republicans are ahead of their same-day totals at 6.2 percent and registered unaffiliated voters continue to move ahead of their same-day totals, at 37.7 percent. Democrats have been slowly chipping away at their deficit, while unaffiliated voters and Republicans continue to grow their expansion.
In looking at the racial composition of all absentee ballots so far:
White voters continue at their 72 percent of the absentee ballot pool, with black voters at 22 percent and all other races at 6 percent. While white voters are 15 percent ahead of their same-day totals from 2012, black voters continue to lag their 2012 same-day totals, down 16 percent. What is remarkable is that all other races (Asian, Indian American/Alaska Native, Multi-racial, other races) are ahead of their same-day 2012 totals by 39 percent.
With the interest in female voters, North Carolina's absentee ballot pool continues to be dominated by women, at 57 percent of all the ballots:
The female party registration has slightly shifted, with 48 percent from registered Democrats, 29 percent from registered Republicans, and 23 percent from registered unaffiliated. Male voters are 37 percent registered Democrats, 35 percent registered Republicans, and 28 percent registered unaffiliated.
The next key step in this analysis is to look at the return status of the ballots, with a focus on 'accepted' ballots:
Out of the nearly 2 million absentee ballots, 1,872,705 have been returned and accepted as votes for the general election. Of those, the overwhelming majority are in-person ballots:
Among these returned and accepted ballots, 44 percent are from registered Democrats, 31 percent from registered Republicans, and 25 percent from registered unaffiliated voters.
This analysis now turns to accepted absentee in-person ballots.
Accepted In-Person Absentee Ballots:
Compared to four years ago, the accepted absentee in-person ballots are running 11 percent ahead of where we were four years ago on the same day.
Within the party registration, though, there continues to be some key differences.
While registered Democrats continue to be the plurality of the accepted in-person ballots, they are slightly behind their same day totals from 2012 (down 4 percent), while registered Republicans are 15 percent ahead of their same day totals from four years ago, and registered unaffiliated voters are 41 percent ahead of their same day totals in comparison to 2012.
The daily party registration percentages for the last half of in-person balloting is:
In terms of looking at the accepted in-person ballots' racial composition by party registration:
While white voters are running nearly 212,000 ballots ahead of their same day totals from four years ago, black voters are nearly 73,000 behind in their ballot totals from four years ago.
The daily percentages based on race for accepted absentee in-person ballots:
This year's in-person ballot voters are slowly becoming more diversified in their 2012 voting methods and registration, with the growing percentage having registered after 2012 and those who voted in 2012 on Election Day:
Finally, the three factors that I'm watching are graphed below: region (urban vs. suburban vs. rural county voters, native vs. non-native, and generations by party registration):
Absentee by Mail-In Ballots:
Now, turning to the other vote method of mail-in absentee ballots, this form of early voting is currently running significantly behind 2012's same-day totals (83 percent of where ballots stood four years ago).
While registered Republicans lead with 41 percent compared to 32 percent for registered Democrats and 26 percent for registered unaffiliated voters, Republicans are 65 percent of where they were four years ago, down over 25,000 ballots.
Registered Democrats are at 96 percent of their same day totals, down 1,645 ballots, and registered unaffiliated voters are 111 percent of their same day totals, up 3,129 ballots.
Of course, if registered Republicans can get their outstanding ballots returned, they could start to eat into their deficit.
The shift from mail-in ballots to in-person ballots may be one of the big take-aways from this year's election.