Skip to main content

Data from the Franklin County, Ohio board of elections in Columbus shows how effectively the Obama GOTV effort capitalized on early voting in the blue, urban counties. In Ohio early voting is done both by mail and in person at early voting centers in each of Ohio's 88 counties.

Here's a scatter plot of Franklin County's 802 precincts, with the % of in-person early voting plotted against the Obama support in the precinct:

By the time you get to 90% Obama support (i.e., the predominantly black precincts), 25% of the vote on the average was cast in person at the early voting center on Morse Rd. in Columbus. By contrast the heavily Republican precincts averaged less than 10% turnout at the early voting center.


The situation with mail-in early voting shows somewhat the opposite effect, although not as strongly. That is, more Republican precincts tended to vote early by mail more than Democratic precincts:

This explains why Republican Sec. of State John Husted was gung-ho to send vote-by-mail applications to all registered voters in Ohio back in September, while working tirelessly to suppress in-person early voting.

A timeline of events:

July 17 Obama campaign sues Husted in federal court over early voting restrictions

Aug. 19 Franklin County GOP Chair Doug Preisse quoted by the Columbus Dispatch: “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban--read African-American—-voter-turnout machine.”

Aug. 28 Husted fires two Montgomery County Board of Election members for voting to expand early voting hours

Aug. 30 US District Court rules that shutting down early voting after Nov. 2 for non-military voters is unconstitutional

Aug. 30 Husted issues directive telling boards of election to ignore court order

Sept. 1 Husted sends vote-by-mail applications to all of Ohio's 6 million registered voters

Sept. 4 Husted ordered to appear before judge on Sept. 16 to explain why he was defying the court order

Sept. 5 Husted rescinds the directive rather than appear before the court, asks for stay of ruling

Oct. 5 6th Circuit Court of Appeals returns discretion on early voting hours to local boards of election

Oct. 9 Husted appeals to US Supreme Court

Oct. 16 US Supreme Court rejects appeal

Nov. 2 Husted issues rules making it less likely provisional ballots will be counted

A graph of the daily in-person voting shows the problem that the weekend before the election posed for the Republican Party:

Unofficial results so far show 545,022 votes cast in the county, with 241,584 (44%) being cast early. Of the early votes, 172,863 were cast by mail and 68,721 were cast in-person. The 2012 in-person total of 68,721 beat the 2008 total of 52,147.

Obama beat Romney in the county 60%-38%.

Here's a video of the line at the Franklin County early voting center on the Sunday afternoon before the election:

This is what the Democratic Party looks like!

Originally posted to jmknapp on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:37 AM PST.

Also republished by Central Ohio Kossacks.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site