It has been articulated recently that votes cast by Democrats via Early Voting are “cannibalizing” Democratic Election Day turnout.
Well, if there was 100% Democratic turnout, yes, that would be the case. But that would be a Very Good Thing.
As it stands, that “cannibal concept” is more of a “perhaps” proposition. Some of the Democratic Early Voters may not have been able to vote on Election Day for one reason or another, so they chose to vote early so they could participate in the process. Others may not have been planning on voting this cycle, or were not eligible to vote in previous cycles, but they are so fired up, they went to the polls early.
I know folks are trying to determine the potential size/scope of a possible Blue Wave (or even a Red Wave) but I thought it important to state that, all things considered, I would rather have as many banked Democratic votes as possible going into Election Day.
Given the registration figures in Howard County, I still expect Democrats to outnumber Republicans (and quite possibly Republicans + Independents) among Election Day voters. That said, Republicans tend to be a bit more “traditional” in terms of their voting behaviors – with a predisposition toward Election Day voting.
Journeying into the Land of the Obvious for a moment: the key challenge is to maximize Democratic turnout regardless of how the vote is cast.
As it stands now, the Early Voting electorate through six days breaks out as follows: 60.7% Democratic, 22.4% Republican, 15.7% Unaffiliated, 1.2% Other. This represents a slight tightening based on party registration. I expect another tightening to occur amongst the Election Day electorate.
It is noteworthy that almost 19% of Democrats (18.94%) have exercised their franchise via Early Voting. This compares to 13.72% of Republicans, 11.05% of Unaffiliateds, and 11.59% of the other party members.
In other news: 20.94% of 9B voters have cast their ballots via EV. This percentage ranks first among legislative districts in Maryland (where the average is 11.66%). District 12 (15.23%), District 9A (14.19%), and District 13 (12.94%) are all above the state average. Those figures are even higher in the Howard County portions of the multi-County districts: 9A (16.04%) and 12 (17.37%).
Turning to the Council Districts, Early Voting turnout remains highest, as a percentage of the potential electorate, in District 1 (18.14%) but District 4 (17.59%) is not too far behind.