According to a nationwide compilation of early voting statistics made by Michael McDonald from George Mason University, the 2008 early vote stood above half of the 2004 total vote in several states. In Colorado, this figure was as high as 70% . Similar numbers were observed in some Nevada counties and in North Carolina. In Georgia, Tennessee and several Washington counties, early voting achieved between 60% to 65% of the 2004 total vote. Also, early voting in Florida and Oregon surpassed half of the total number of votes cast in 2004. Finally, Arizona, Arkansas, Carlifornia and Iowa showed high early voting figures standing at approximately 25% the 2004 total vote.
When figures are decomposed by party registration, it shows that in ALL of the nine states for which this data is available, early voting was higher among Democrats compared to Republicans or Independents/Others. In seven of the these states, the number of early voting Democrats surpassed the number of early voting Republicans by more than 10 percentage points. In Louisiana, Clark County (Nevada), Bernalillio County (New Mexico) and New York, the difference was above 20 percentage points.
Also, in-person voting represented approximately 90% of the total early vote in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia. In these states, the remaining 10% of the early votes were cast absentee. In Florida and Bernalillo County (New Mexico), in-person voting was also larger than absentee voting. The only states which contradict this pattern are Colorado and Ohio where absentee voting constituted close to 80% of the total early vote. There’s still no similar data avilable for the rest of the states.
Finally, it is interesting to note that for the three states for which data about early voting by gender is available –Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina, women outnumbered men in terms of early votes cast, with the difference being always larger than 10 percentage points.
Inés and Janell