03 November 2010

A review of turnout projections in Anne Arundel County

Here were my projections regarding turnout in Anne Arundel County:
Turnout:  During the last four Gubernatorial General Elections, turnout here in Anne Arundel County (as a percentage of eligible voters) about the parties has been the following:
1994 Democrats 69 Republicans 69 Overall 67
1998 66D 65R 63O
2002 66D 69R 62O
2006 64D 65R 61O
That averages to 66.25 Democrats, 67.00 Republicans, and 63.25 Overall.  Based upon the overall "enthusiasm gap" in favor of Republicans (and respecting the fact that this gap is probably less evident in Maryland), I am estimating that Republicans will turn out in 1994/2002 levels at 69%.  Democrats are certainly less enthused, but turnout in Anne Arundel County has always been higher than statewide.  It is difficult to imagine Democrats turning out in better numbers then they did in 2006, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and put their number at 65%.  With third party and unaffiliated voters typically at 50% or less, this brings our overall turnout to about 64%.
The official numbers aren't yet in, and won't be for a little while due to absentee and provisional ballots.  Also, the county is showing 194/197 precincts (or 98.5%) reporting; I'm not sure if this is due to slow counting somewhere, or if the absentee and provisional ballots somehow make up their own precincts (or both).  That being said, we can look at the numbers so far and compare them to the projections.

Together with early voting (but not absentee ballots) and Election Day itself, 191,793 of 331,098 (or 57.93%) of registered voters turned out.  We won't have absentee numbers yet, but in 2006, 15,930 absentee ballots and 3,558 provisional ballots were cast (all of these numbers count toward overall turnout).  Those 19,488 votes represented over 10% of the total 189,150 votes cast (in 2008, absentee ballots represented 8.2% of the total).  If we take 8-10% and presume those as reasonable limits, we find that perhaps somewhere in the range of 208,000 to 213,000 total people voted; this puts overall turnout in the range of 63-64%.  These are educated guesses based upon previous elections, and we'll refine them as more comes in, but those numbers have been pretty good indications of what to expect.  So it looks like overall turnout projections may have been spot on.

I'll have partisan turnout numbers when a better breakdown of the overall numbers becomes available.
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