News, Voting

First day of early voting not as strong as 2012 election, but not ‘apples-to-apples’ for comparison

Early voting in North Carolina this year is off to a slower start than in 2012, according to preliminary statistics. There were 162,382 ballots cast and accepted this year compared to 167,497 in 2012.

Dr. Michael Bitzer, Catawba College political scientist, posted an analysis of the first day of in-person early voting, noting that this year’s numbers were not a “pure apples-to-apples” comparison due to changes in county hours and locations from 2012.

The party registration for this year’s first day of in-person early voting was 53 percent registered Democrat, 24 percent registered Republican, 23 percent registered unaffiliated, and less than one percent registered Libertarian.

The total number of in-person early ballots is down 3 percent from the same day in 2012, while those from registered Democrats are down 11 percent, from registered Republicans down 7 percent, but up among registered unaffiliated voters by 28 percent.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections was not immediately available to provide a breakdown of early voting totals by county.

graph

Graph by Dr. Michael Bitzer

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