UPDATE: 9 am Monday, November 3: some counties did NOT report their Saturday totals until this morning, and an additional 20,852 early voters have been added, for a final total of 2,390,429. I will update this diary this evening with the stats.
North Carolina closed out its early voting period Saturday with a total 2,369,577 votes cast in person, up from 2004's 984,294. Already, 49.7% of the State's Black registered voters have cast ballots just at the early vote sites. 44.34% of the registered Democrats have voted, compared with 33.18% of the Republicans, with a D to R margin of 604,846. The early voting total is 66.7% of the 3,551,675 total votes cast in 2004. 435,907 unaffiliated voters and 1,548 Libertarians also voted.
The mail-in absentee total of 203,629 has a 53,761 edge for the GOP, dwarfed by the heavily Democratic in person early votes.
Blacks made up 29.94% of the Saturday final day total of 202,854 voters at 337 sites, up from the 25.20% who early voted Friday. Both numbers exceed the 21.6% of registered voters who are Black.
Two heavily Democratic counties in the Research Triangle area outperformed even that. Durham County (2004 Kerry 68%, Bush 31%) saw 97,697 early voters, 87.5% of the 2004 turnout, while Chapel Hill's Orange County (2004 Kerry 67%, Bush 32%) had 51,964 early votes, 78.6% of the total 2004 vote. Wake County (Raleigh) had 251,034 vote early, 70% of 2004 total.
NC for the first time allowed voter registration during early voting, and as of Wednesday, 101,000 new voters had signed up at early vote centers. Final totals should be available Monday.
For 2008, here is a breakdown of race of early voters:
Native Am 0.41%
Two Races 0.41%
The table below compares the % of early voters from each party between 2008 and 2004:
Unaffiliated 18.40% 15%
Republican 28.01% 37%
Libertarian 0.07% 0.5%
Democratic 53.53% 48%
49.74% of the early votes Saturday were Democratic, up from the 47.49% of Friday. The GOP total of 29.1% Saturday was down from the 31.78% of Friday.
In person early voters got several benefits over election day voters in North Carolina. New voters can register at early voting sites but not on election day. Already registered voters reporting address changes within a county can get a regular ballot at early voting sites, but on election day may wind up with a more cumbersome provisional ballot.
The entire electorate in North Carolina breaks down:
North Carolina has registered over 900,000 new voters in 2008, and voter registration continues at early voting sites. While early voting began in NC in 2000, allowing voter registration during the early voting period was first allowed in 2007. From October 16-29, 101,421 new voters registered at early voting sites, 37.6% of whom are Black. By party affiliation, the new voters at early voting sites break down:
The following percentage of each party's electorate has voted early:
Since North Carolina captures party and race on its registration records, and posts early votes cast to the voter record each evening, stats can be run the next morning.
This data analysis above does NOT include stats on mail-in absentee ballots, only those cast in person.
Here are the mail-in gross totals of ballots voted
Civilian: 193,291* (of 259,384 issued, 11/3 return deadline)
Military: 7,021** (of 13,170 issued, 11/4 return deadline)
Overseas: 3,317** (of 5,400 issued, 11/4 return deadline)
As of Saturday, the three categories of postal ballots break down
The total margin of R over D in postal absentees is about 53,768, dwarfed by the 604,846+ margin of D over R in in person early votes.
Interestingly, the Overseas absentee voters (largely expats) broke down:
*includes military and overseas voters who were already registered.
**using Federal postcard absentee ballot application
No racial breakdown is available for 2004 on the State Board of Elections files.
files used for data analysis
2008 ftp://www.app.sboe.state.nc.us/enrs/absentee11xx04xx2008_Stats.xls (updated daily)
2008 http://sboe.state.nc.us (current registration)
November 1 party registration totals at
2008 new voters