“Voting by Mail and Ballot Rejection: Lessons from Florida for Elections in the Age of the Coronavirus”
Check out my report for the ACLU of Florida, “Vote-By-Mail Ballots Cast in Florida.” Vote-by-mail ballots cast in the 2012 and 2016 general election had a higher rejection rate than votes cast at assigned precincts on Election Day and at early voting sites, and more importantly, younger voters and racial and ethnic minority voters were much more likely to cast mail ballots that were rejected and were less likely to have their ballots cured.
Full report is available here.
Although the Anti-Trump vote looms large in Florida, with some independents and Republicans experiencing buyer’s remorse, mobilization of younger people of color remains the key for any prospects of a Blue Wave in Florida.
Here’s turnout, by age, of registered blacks in the 2014 General Election. Turnout among the nearly 1.8m registered blacks in the 2014 midterm was 41.5%.
And here’s turnout of registered Hispanics in the 2014 General Election. Turnout among the 1.9m registered Hispanics in 2014 was just 31.1%.
Contrast minority turnout in Florida in 2014 with white turnout, by age. of the nearly 8.5m registered white voters in Florida in 2014, 51.5% cast ballots in the November election.
If Democrats–from Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum on down–are going to win in Florida, there needs to be massive GOTV to mobilize younger minority voters to the polls.
In the 2016 General Election, younger African American registered voters in Florida didn’t turn out to vote. For Andrew Gillum to have a shot at winning in November, that has to change.
Here’s a plot of the count of registered black voters in Florida as of December 2016, by gender (excluding those with missing data).
Surprising no one, there were nearly 300,000 fewer black men registered voters in Florida than black females in late 2016. The biggest gap between black men and women registered in Florida is among those in their middle-age. For more on the missing black population (which then relates to registered voters and representation), you might want to read of an article by my coauthors and me.
But when it comes to turnout, in the November 2016 election younger (18-26 year olds) black registered voters–male and female alike–were much more likely to stay home than go to the polls than older African Americans in Florida.
As the plot below reveals, though, younger black males accounted for a disproportionate amount of the turnout gap in Florida’s 2016 General Election. For example, as shown above, although there were over 120,000 blacks aged 21-24 years-old who didn’t vote in 2016, nearly 70,000 of those who didn’t vote were registered black men (as the plot below reveals).
We’ll see if these distributions continue this coming November with Andrew Gillum on the ballot. The 2018 gubernatorial race in Florida is all about mobilization of the base.