Home 2019 Elections Latest Update: Virginia Absentees More Than Double 2015, About 25% Lower Than...

Latest Update: Virginia Absentees More Than Double 2015, About 25% Lower Than 2017 Gubernatorial Election Year

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Per TargetSmart, see below for graphs (click to enlarge) of early/absentee voting in Virginia, as of Saturday’s data update. Key takeaways are:

  • For comparison purposes, see here for last Monday’s numbers, at which point there had been 81,216 absentee ballots returned, more than double the 35,471 returned at this point in 2015 (the last odd/off Virginia election year), but not quite at 2017 (the last gubernatorial year) levels, which had 114,907 absentees returned at the same point.
  • As of Saturday’s data update, there had been 133,921 absentee ballots returned, more than double the 62,467 absentee ballots returned at the same point in 2015, about 25% below the 179,958 absentees returned at the same point in 2017. [NOTE: according to the State Board of Elections website’s update this morning, there had been 135,794 absentee ballots returned, with 175,560 absentee ballot applications.]
  • Based on TargetSmart’s partisanship model, they *estimate* that these absentee ballots break down as 59,902 Democratic – 59,156 Republican – 14,863 “Other.”
  • In terms of age, it looks like the 2019 absentee ballots came overwhelmingly (75.1%) from voters 50 and up, although this is lower than in 2015, when 79.5% came from voters 50 and up. Voters aged 18-29 make up an estimated 9.0% of the absentee ballots this time around, up from 6.4% at the same point in 2015.
  • In terms of race, TargetSmart estimates that 2019 absentee ballots are coming 85.3% from Caucasians, 9.0% from African Americans, 2.3% from Asian Americans and 0.8% from Hispanic voters. That’s slightly more diverse, racially, than in 2015.
  • In terms of gender, TargetSmart estimates that 2019 absentee ballots are coming 54.2% from women, 45.8% from men. That’s a bit higher percentage of women, compared to 2015.
  • In terms of “Urbanicity,” TargetSmart estimates that 2019 absentee ballots are coming 40.9% from suburban voters (up from 33.6% in 2015), 30.5% from urban voters (slightly down from 30.7% in 2019) and 28.6% from rural voters (down sharply from 35.7% in 2015).
  • Finally, somebody sent me a spreadsheet looking at Fairfax County absentee ballots. It estimates that likely Democratic voters have returned absentee ballots at more than a 2:1 ratio over likely Republican voters. It also finds that absentee votes cast already are just over double that from 2015, with are plenty of mail-in ballots still to be counted. So that’s encouraging…