Early Voting Analysis: “Not Much To Say”

The following words and thoughts belong to Ed Chervenak, the director of the UNO Survey Research Center…

An analysis of the early voting numbers indicates there’s not much to say, outside of how the weather affected turnout. On the first day, 4,177 people early voted. On Monday, due to the inclement weather that day, that number fell to 783, an 81 percent decline.  After that, the early voting numbers increased each day until Friday. Turnout fell on Saturday, the final day of early voting. In fact, there were 45 percent fewer voters last Saturday compared to the previous Saturday. No doubt the weather situation and the early closing of early voting sites influenced these numbers. (See attached chart)

A total of 15,628 people showed up to vote over the seven day period. That’s a 29 percent increase over the early vote numbers for the 2014 mayoral election. While that appears to be an impressive figure, the fact is that early voter turnout was up by only 1 percentage point in 2017 compared to 2014. While more voters did show up this time around, there are also more registered voters today.

As for demographics, the results indicate that females are over represented in the 2017 early voting electorate, just as they were in 2014.  African-Americans are over-represented among early voters, while whites and others are under-represented. Blacks comprise 57 percent of registered voters but are 66 percent of early voters. There was a slight demographic shift in the numbers from 2014 to 2017. In 2014, whites were 26 percent of all early voters. In this cycle they comprise 30 percent of all early voters. Conversely, African-Americans comprised 70 percent of all early voters in 2014 but fell slightly to 66 percent in 2017.

Want to geek out a bit more over election stats? LSU’s Michael Henderson writes that fewer and fewer Louisianans have been voting over the past 30 years. READ HIS REPORT.

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