As of Wednesday, October 29, nearly 1.7 million voters – 27 percent of all registered voters – had cast their votes early at one-stop locations statewide. There have been significant differences in turnout by party and race: 22 percent of Republican and 21 percent of unaffiliated voters have turned out, compared to 33 percent of Democratic voters; 24 percent of white voters have turned out, compared to 36 percent of African American voters.
If these trends hold constant for the rest of the week, roughly 44 percent of African Americans will have voted via one-stop prior to election day; approximately 31 percent of Republicans will have voted during the same period. Because Republicans are much more likely to vote by mail-in absentee ballot, adding already returned absentee ballots would bring Republicans to 35 percent turnout prior to election day as things currently stand (and African Americans to 45 percent).
There are already indications that the initial pattern, which favored Democrats and African Americans, is shifting. On the first day of early voting, October 16, African American voters outnumbered all other groups, with nearly 42,000 voting to make up 36 percent of voters that day. African American voters again outnumbered other groups on the first Monday of early voting, October 20, with a record 46,000 voters to make up 33 percent of the day’s voters. But after the initial burst of enthusiasm, other groups have caught up with African Americans. In fact, on Tuesday, October 28, Republicans outnumbered all other groups of one-stop voters for the first time.
White Democrats have held relatively steady at 28 to 29 percent of early voters during the week. Republicans have steadily increased, climbing from 20 percent of early voters on October 16 to 32 percent on Wednesday, October 29. Unaffiliated voters who do not identify themselves as African American got a slight bump to become 17 percent of daily early voters on Wednesday. And, by Wednesday, African American voters had declined to 23 percent of the daily voters.
Among these trends, there are some notable exceptions. While Sundays are the least popular voting day across the board, compared to other voters African Americans are much more likely to vote on Sundays and somewhat more likely to vote on Saturdays. Unaffiliated voters are also slightly more likely to vote on weekends.