I brought this up in yesterday’s post, so let’s take that look at how much of the runoff vote has been cast early in the last few Mayoral elections.
Year Early E-Day Total EV %
2003 77,984 138,804 216,788 35.97%
2009 67,760 87,215 154,975 43.72%
2015 116,399 93,635 210,034 55.42%
2019 118,245 85,035 203,280 58.17%
There were runoffs in other years, before the switch to four-year cycles, but none since 2001 had a Mayoral race, and we don’t have full early voting data from that year. I could have included the data from 2013 and so on but decided it wasn’t apples to apples and didn’t really add much.
There are two things I take away from these numbers. One is that if I had also considered runoff early voting patterns, I might have been a bit more conservative in my estimate of final turnout in November. The fact that early voting volume was less in 2019 for the November election than it had been in 2015 threw me off. Looking at this would have made me think maybe that was an outlier and I should expect the early voting rate to be higher. Live and learn.
And if that’s the case, then I would probably expect that early voting will make up about 60% of the total volume for this runoff, on the theory that it will nudge up a couple of points. If so, then final turnout will be a hair under 220K, a new high in absolute terms but at best a wash with 2019 in percentage of registered voters. I’m going to spare myself more math and just note that if the EV volume is a little higher then 2003 will remain the turnout champion. Given how things have gone so far, and with the likelihood of some afternoon thunderstorms on Saturday, it’s probably wise to bet the under. Whatever the case, go vote tomorrow if you haven’t already.