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Report: Early voters surpass 1 million mark, total 2014 early ballots cast

There have officially been more early voters this year than during the early voting period for the 2014 midterm elections.

As of this morning, there have been 1,099,555 voters who have cast ballots since the start of this year’s 18-day early voting period, according to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. Voters have six extra days this year to cast ballots at early voting sites, and Democracy NC states the final days see the most traffic.

The voting rights organization is releasing an analysis of early voting data twice a week. It reports that across the entire early voting period in 2014, which was only a 10-day period, 1,097,269 ballots were cast at early voting sites. Much of this year’s turnout growth is due to white voters, but there are also significant increases in turnout among smaller demographic groups, like Asian voters and youth, according to the report.

At this point in 2016’s 17-day cycle, 1,546,765 ballots had been cast.

Here are some statewide trends reported by Democracy NC:

• Following reports of spikes in registration among the youngest voters this summer, voters under 26 have cast 36 percent more ballots (50,455) at early voting sites so far this cycle than during the entire 2014 early voting period (37,222). In 2014, voters under 26 accounted for 3.4 percent of the ballots cast. So far this year, voters under 26 have cast 4.6 percent of all ballots at early voting sites.

• Across the state, 3.4 percent more white voters (802,916) have cast ballots at early voting locations than during the entire 2014 early voting period (776,581), with six more days to go.

• Headed into the final week, Black voters have cast 81 percent of the ballots (228,157) cast by Black voters during the 2014 early voting cycle (283,264), while the number of registered Black voters has grown 4 percent since 2014.

• The number of Asian voters who have cast ballots during early voting in 2018 (10,792) is now twice the number cast during the entire early voting period in 2014 (5,268), with six days remaining. The number of registered Asian voters has increased 42 percent since 2014.

• So far in 2018, 5,026 Native American voters have cast ballots, a 25 percent increase from the entire 2014 cycle, which soundly surpasses the 8% growth in voter registration in that time.

• Democrat and Republican numbers are approaching 2014 early vote totals, while Unaffiliated voters’ numbers are 31 percent up.

Here are some of the countywide trends reported:

• With six days remaining, 29 of North Carolina’s 100 counties have seen more voters so far than during the entire 2014 early voting cycle. Fourteen counties have seen an increase in the number of Black voters.

• Half of North Carolina counties (50) have seen an increase in the number of early voters under 26 compared to the 2014 cycle, with the greatest increases in Wake, Mecklenburg, Durham, Watauga, Buncombe, Forsyth and Jackson Counties — all of which are home to colleges and universities.

• Of the 28 counties receiving federal assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, 23 counties have seen fewer ballots compared to the 2014 cycle, and 26 have seen fewer ballots cast by Black voters.

Read the full report here.

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