VPAP has a helpful graphic showing early votes as a percentage of registered voters — “in person and by mail — as of October 26.” See below, including some highlights.
- Of the top 15 localities in terms of early votes as a % of registered voters – Falls Church, Arlington County, Mathews County, Alexandria, Fairfax City, York County, James City County, Williamsburg, Albemarle County, Fluvanna County, Charlottesville, Lexington, Loudoun County, Staunton, Prince William County – they are all “blue” except for 5 (“red” Mathews, York, Fluvanna counties; “purple” James City County, Staunton).
- Conversely, if you look at the *bottom* localities in terms of early votes as a % of registered voters, they’re overwhelmingly “red”: in reverse order, Lee, Buchanan, Smyth, Craig, Bath, Emporia City, Alleghany, Russell, Scott, Bland, Covington City, Carroll, Highland, Grayson, Page, Greensville, Patrick, Wythe, Dickinson, Sussex, Tazewell, King William, Southampton, Rockingham, Charlotte, Franklin, Wise, etc. They’re also largely in rural/”red” far-Southwestern Virginia and western Virginia.
- This basically corresponds to what was seen in these maps, which showed the darkest colors – ergo, the highest % of potential early votes – generally tracing the urban/suburban “crescent” running from Hampton Roads to the Richmond area (Richmond City, Henrico County, Chesterfield County, etc.) through Northern Virginia, plus “blue” places like Albemarle County, Charlottesville and also “purple” Montgomery County.
- Percentages range from as high as 58.2% of early votes as a percent of registered voters (Falls Church) to as low as just 12.0% (Lee County). It’s really striking. The big question is, what’s causing this? Is it mostly about Trump’s false denigration/demonization of early voting? Or is something else going on here? And will “red” areas make up for the massive “blue” advantage in early voting on Election Day itself, even with the COVID-19 pandemic raging, *particularly* in southwestern Virginia? We’re going to find out soon enough…