by Jim Stirling
Research Fellow, John Locke Foundation
Last Thursday was the first day of one-stop voting, and with it, we saw our first significant spike in early voting numbers, moving us up from 36,197 ballots accepted last week to 380,765 on Sunday.
The vast majority of this spike in ballots comes from the first two days of one-stop voting, following the pattern of most election years. Based on what we have seen, voting patterns seem to be moving back to how they were before the 2020 election. Due to this, we will likely see one-stop voting steadily increase like it did in both 2016 and 2018 unlike in 2020, where the peak of one-stop voting came in the first two days,
Mail-in ballots are still steadily increasing each week as we draw closer to the election. We continue to fall into a middle ground between 2020’s pandemic election and the blue moon election of 2018.
Democrats are expanding their lead in mail ballots from last week, with nearly 10,000 more ballots accepted since last week.
While mail-in ballot numbers are much lower than they were in 2020, they are more than double what we saw in 2018. Democrats and unaffiliateds have been far more likely to utilize mail-in ballots than Republicans.
One-stop early voting:
One-stop voting has been significantly down when compared to the 2018 election. When we compare the 16-day out mark for 2018 to 2022, one-stop ballots are down by 108,736 votes. Mail-in ballots only make up a quarter of this variance in ballots.
Voter Registration Changes:
With regular voter registration ending on October 14th, this week saw a significant decline across the board. Independents still had a good week for registration, having had more than 3,000 voters registered. This growth is coming from same-day registration voters at one-stop facilities. Some of this may come from regular registrations that are late in their reporting, though this is likely a small percentage of these registrations.