Early Voting Totals Higher, Not Lower, Than 2010 – GOP Turnout Still Looks To Be Low

May 19, 2014 11:36 am

by Charlie · 8 comments

Last week we had quite a few anecdotes that early voting was quiet.  Too quiet.  Either the anecdotes were wrong, or there was a late surge toward the end of last week.  The Secretary of State’s office has released the following totals for early voting, with a comparison to 2010 (the last statewide cycle/non Presidential election).

Atlanta – Early in-person voting ended on Friday, May 16.  While mail-in absentee ballots can still be cast until the polls close tomorrow evening, the majority of early votes have been cast.

Number of ballots cast:  239,281

Number of ballots voted in person:  214,975

Number of mail-in ballots returned:  24,306

Number of mail-in ballots outstanding:  14,385

Number of ballots cast, Republican:  147,995

Number of ballots cast, Democratic:  88,316

Number of ballots cast, non-partisan:  2,970

Compared with four years ago, early voting numbers are higher than they were in 2010.

Number of ballots cast in 2010:  212,487

Number of ballots voted in person in 2010:  162,065

Number of mail-in ballots returned in 2010:  50,422

“The numbers make it clear that Georgia voters are increasingly taking advantage of early voting opportunities,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.  “The counties have done a wonderful job of fine-tuning the early voting process.”

In 2010, in person early voting was spread out over a seven-week period rather than the three-week period that exists now.  The numbers reflect that by compressing the process, more Georgia voters actually vote early.

“This early voting period was an extremely smooth process,” said Kemp.  “I appreciate the work of my staff, the county election officials and the many poll workers and volunteers who worked so hard.”

Brian Kemp has been Secretary of State since January 2010. Among the offices wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting secure, accessible and fair elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlie May 19, 2014 at 12:02 pm

In second reading, there’s some missing data above.

TOTAL early votes are up, but note that there is no breakdown from 2010 between Dem and GOP votes.

I’m guessing that we may still see that GOP vote totals are down, and that Dems with contested primaries and an actual GOTV program will be up quite a bit.

I’ve asked the SOS for additional numbers.

Charlie May 19, 2014 at 2:18 pm

I have unofficial word (i.e, not a reply from the Secretary of State’s office that is likely busy making sure Brian Kemp’s head is properly positioned on their website) that the GOP early vote totals from mid-day Friday were 121K. If that number holds, looks like GOP interest this primary is down almost 20%.

Doug Deal May 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm

How long was early voting in 2010 and did it have a Saturday voting day?

Mrs. Adam Kornstein May 19, 2014 at 5:56 pm

I believe it was twice as long, and had at least one saturday.

JayJacket May 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm

While we’re kind of on point, does anyone have a link to the GA SOS spreadsheet showing who has cast an early ballot? I was trying to find it earlier but couldn’t.

Mark Rountree May 19, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Turnout percentages of Republican vs. Democrat ballots are identical from 2012 and 2010.

These are approximate but close:

2014 Primary absentee votes
GOP 62%
Dem 36.9%
(the balance are non-partisan ballots)

Compare to:
2012 Primary absentee votes
GOP 62.4%
Dem 35.1%
(the balance were non-partisan ballots)

2010 Primary absentee votes
GOP 63.6%
Dem 36.1%
(the balance were non-partisan ballots)

Chris Huttman May 19, 2014 at 6:15 pm

2012 is such an anomaly because of T-SPLOST, but it is nice to see the Democratic share go up and the Republican share go down from 2010, especially when you consider that there aren’t really any competitive races on the Democratic side from a statewide standpoint (that anyone is interested in).

Chris Huttman May 19, 2014 at 6:13 pm

The numbers reflect that by compressing the process, more Georgia voters actually vote early.

How? I don’t think there’s enough data to draw that conclusion. Just because more people voted earlier this year in fewer days does not somehow mean fewer days causes more people to vote early. It could just mean more people are voting early each year.

The number of mail in ballots has been cut in half – is that because when people have 7 weeks to vote early they decide to mail it in but when they only have 3 weeks it’s more urgent somehow? No – it just means that all things being equal people would rather just drive and vote early than have to fill out a request, receive a ballot, mail it back etc.