Thursday, November 5, 2009

Early Ballots: The Numbers

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 2:08 PM


Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez has done her usual efficient job of plowing through the piles of early ballots dropped off at the last minute by irresponsible voters who take forever to make up their minds. (We're sympathetic to the perspective that you ought to hang onto the ballots just in case something breaks at the end of the campaign, but it does slow returns.)

To recap: Pima County handled elections for the city of Tucson this year, which meant that about 68,000 city voters on the county's Permanent Early Voting List automatically got ballots as soon as early voting started. In previous city elections. voters had to request an early ballot.

That left us with a big question mark: How many early ballots would be sent back, given that interest in a municipal election tends to run a lot lower than interest in a presidential race?

Based on these numbers, 68,571 early ballots were requested and 45,067 came back in, for a return rate of 66 percent. Both Trent Humphries and I bet that the return rate would be greater than 68 percent, so we both lose on that proposition.

Correction: An earlier version of this post mentioned that the over-under was 66 percent.

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