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More than 9 million voters already have cast their ballots in November elections

Ada County - Voting - 2021
Otto Kitsinger
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An early voting dropbox outside Boise City Hall on May 5, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Mountain Sun)

A small share of Idaho’s registered voters returned mail-in ballots so far

WASHINGTON — Roughly 9.4 million Americans have already voted in the midterm elections, casting a combination of in-person early votes and mail-in ballots, according to data compiled by the United States Elections Project.

Florida as well as Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania are among the top states in terms of early voting so far.

The data show more than 47,700 of Idaho’s registered voters had returned their absentee ballots as of Oct. 24.

About 53% of those ballots were returned by Idahoans registered as Republican; about 25% were from registered Democrats, the data showed.

The initiative, headed up by University of Florida Professor Michael McDonald, shows that, within states releasing the data, 2.6 million people have voted in person while 6.8 million have returned mail-in ballots. Another 41.6 million voters have requested mail-in ballots, according to the website.

The 17 states reporting data and that share party affiliation show that of the roughly 5.1 million Americans in those states who voted early, 50% are Democrats, 30% are Republicans and 20% are not part of either party or registered with another political affiliation.

McDonald noted Tuesday that in Florida, Republican in-person early voters outnumbered Democrats, 56,000 to 34,000.

“This is not just a function of which counties offered in-person early voting,” McDonald wrote. “Even in some blue counties like Palm Beach, more Republicans voted in-person early.”

He added that since many Democrats have mail-in ballot requests carried over from the 2020 elections, “it may be that Democrats who might have voted in-person early already voted by mail or plan to vote by mail.”

If the data around more Republicans voting early in person in Florida continues through the end of early voting, McDonald wrote that he would “be extremely confident in predicting DeSantis and Rubio victories.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, both Republicans, are seeking reelection to their current offices this November.

Florida voters have cast nearly 1.3 million early votes, with 42% from those registered as Democrats, 40% from Republicans and 18% from people without a party registration or a minor party registration.

In Georgia, just under 1 million voters have already cast their votes, with 54% of those coming from female voters and 45% from men. The state’s breakdown of race and ethnicity, something not all states disclose, shows 56% of early voters so far are white non-Hispanic and 32% are Black non-Hispanic voters.

Another 1.5% of early voters in Georgia identify as Hispanic and 1.5% as Asian American.

Michigan voters have cast more than 700,000 early votes, either in person or via mail-in ballots, according to the project.

Of those voters, 62% are more than 65, making up the overwhelming majority of early voters so far. People between 41 and 65 account for 30% of early votes cast, with people between 26 and 40 making up nearly 6% of early votes.

Women make up 56% of Michigan’s early voters up to this point with men accounting for 44%.

In Pennsylvania, residents of the Keystone State have cast 635,000 early votes.

An overwhelming 73% of those votes came from Democrats, with Republicans casting 19% so far. The remaining 8% of early voters come from people not registered as Democrat or Republican, or who affiliate with a minor political party.

The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state. As longtime Idahoans ourselves, we understand the challenges and opportunities facing Idaho. We provide in-depth reporting on legislative and state policy, health care, tax policy, the environment, Idaho’s explosive population growth and more. Our mission is relentless investigative journalism that sheds light on how decisions in Boise and beyond are made and how they affect everyday Idahoans. We aim to tell untold stories and provide data, context and analysis on the issues that matter most throughout the state. The Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers. We retain full editorial independence.