The final early vote tallies are in, and thanks to relatively busy days on Monday and Tuesday, a total of 1870 ballots have been cast by mail or in person as of the end of early voting on Tuesday. That's slightly higher than I thought, though I now realize I had an error in my previous computations - there had been 1321 votes cast through the weekend, not 1221. I'd have probably bumped my guess for a final total to 1800 had I realized that, so I wasn't off by that much.
Be that as it may, I'm wondering if my initial projection of 2656 votes is even farther off. I based that on District H's share of the vote in 2008, and the turnout for the May 2007 special election for At Large #3. Looking at the cumulative report from the November 2007 general election, I note that the early vote share in the Mayoral race was about 30%, and for District H it was 24%. In fact, the early vote total in District H in 2007 was only 2399 when undervotes are factored in, and the final number of ballots cast was 10,018. If the early vote share in this race is the same as the early vote share was in November of 2007, we'll wind up with 7809 ballots in all. That's a very different picture.
Personally, I think the early voting pattern that was established in 2008, when a much larger share of the votes were cast before Election Day - about 44% in March, over 60% in November - will continue to some extent in this race. I don't think it's be that high, but I think it will be higher than the 25-30% we saw in 2007. Richard Murray, who suggests that Maverick Welsh has an exellent shot at making the runoff, estimates turnout to be "five or six percent", which would be between 4523 and 5428 out of 90,473 registered voters. That would make the early vote share in the 35-40% range. I think that's pretty reasonable given all this, so I'm going to make my new guess for what the final turnout will be 4500 to 5000. What do you think?
UPDATE: I should have mentioned that polling locations for tomorrow's election can be found here. If you're not sure what precinct you're in, go here to find out. Polls will be open 7 AM to 7 PM, so you will have plenty of time to vote and go to the Art Car Parade.Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 08, 2009 to Election 2009