Today is the first day for the NC Vote Tracker (ncvotetracker.com) for the May 6, 2014 Primary. Voters have been voting since the first by-mail ballot was accepted by Mecklenburg County on March 17th. One-stop early voting begins on Thursday (April 24) and on Friday when you check ncvotetracker.com you should see the numbers soar.
The NC Vote Tracker relies on official vote data from the State Board of Elections. Each day, the Board updates their absentee voter file with the previous days input from the 100 local boards and we take the data and add it to ncvotetracker.com. Here are just a couple of interesting observations I have made from the data thus far. More Democrats have voted than Republicans using the absentee by-mail process (see chart 1 below). Ultimately, Republicans usually vote in greater numbers with mail-in ballots and Democrats usually out-number the Republicans in one-stop early voting. If there’s a change in that trend this year, we can see it first on ncvotetracker.com.
In a Primary, unaffiliated voters may choose to vote one of the party’s ballots or may choose an “unaffiliated” ballot which includes only non-partisan contests. The second chart shows how many ballots (by party) have been voted. This chart ultimately shows which Party ballot the unaffiliated voters are choosing to vote. To this point, 54 percent of Unaffiliated voters have chosen the Democratic ballot, 44 percent of them have requested a Republican ballot and 2 percent have selected the non-partisan ballot – less than one percent have asked for a Libertarian ballot.
Contrast these numbers with 2010 Primary, when on the day before one-stop started, only 1,362 voters had cast ballots. Of those, 656 were cast by Democrats, 655 by Republicans, 50 by Unaffiliated voters and one Libertarian. It’s important to remember that one-stop voting is now a ten day period instead of 17, as it was in 2010. In the 2010 Primary a total of 180,675 voters voted early. So far, Bladen County has the highest number of returned ballots (373), Wake follows with 296 and Mecklenburg shows 199 returned ballots. The highest voting precinct is Farmville A in Pitt County, showing 80 ballots returned. The next four precincts with the highest vote totals are all in Bladen County.
There is much more to be found on the ncvotetracker.com – the vote can be broken down by county, districts (congressional and legislative), political party, race, age and even precinct. We will be update the numbers on ncvotetracker.com each weekday morning.