Of the 1.1m Floridians who have cast vote-by-mail ballots that have been received by the state’s 67 SOEs through yesterday (Friday, 22 October 2016), nearly half (46%) did not vote an absentee ballot in the 2012 General Election.
In fact, of the 1.1m VBM cast thus far, 215.6k didn’t vote in the 2012 GE at all. So, one out of five VBMs received by SOEs are from voters who didn’t participate in the 2012 GE.
Of the new VBM voters, some 35k registered to vote in 2016, including 5,312 who’ve registered since September 1, 2016.
More Democrats than Republicans who’ve already cast a VBM either skipped or registered subsequent to the November 6, 2012 GE. 82.7k Democrats (18.7%) and 76.5k Republicans (16.5%) have not voted for president since at least 2008, if ever.
As I’ve noted elsewhere, though, the big surge in VBM in 2016 in Florida is with No Party Affiliates. Nearly 51k of the 172.7k NPAs who have cast VBMs so far are voting for the first time (or at least since 2008).
So, who are these newbie NPAs who didn’t vote in 2012?
Nearly 18% are Hispanic, but that’s below the 22% of all NPAs in the voter file who are Hispanic (as of September 1, 2016). Over 68% of the NPAs who’ve voted a VBM ballot but who didn’t vote in 2012 are white, well above the 59% of all NPAs in the voter file who are white.
However, a greater percentage of VBM voters who didn’t vote in 2012 (compared to those who voted in 2012) are Hispanic and a smaller percentage are white.
So, lots of new voters are casting mail ballots for the first time. The demographics look pretty comparable to VBM voters who cast ballots by this mode in 2012.
Of course, lots of VBM (and early-in-person and Election Day) ballots to come…
Well, judging by Vote-by-Mail ballots received by county Supervisors of Elections, it certainly looks like there’s going to be strong voter turnout in Florida this presidential election.
As of this morning, Democrats have returned nearly 125k vote-by-mail ballots, only 6,000 ballots less than Republicans, who have owned absentee ballots in the Sunshine State since the state adopted the no-excuse mode of voting.
Election Day in 2012 was November 6; this year, it’s November 8. As such, if we compare October 11, 2012 absentee ballots received with October 13, 2016 vote-by-mail absentee ballots received, Republicans are up only 34.7k from 2012; Democrats are up 36.3k ballots compared to October 11, 2012 returns. Also notable is that over 8k more ballots from No Party Affiliates (NPAs) have been received by the 67 county SOEs than over the same time-frame in 1012.
Still way too early to draw too many conclusions — most notably because it’s possible that Democrats who are voting by mail this year may have been voting early in-person or on Election Day in 2012, and are merely substituting one mode of voting for another.
But I’ll have that analysis in the coming days…