Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Surf's Up!

28 days until Election Day.
7 days until the Close of Registration
8 days until Advance Voting By Mail Begins.
13 days until Advance Voting in Person Begins.

This is a short post that will likely mean more to Johnson County readers than anyone.

Still, our experience right now might reflect the current nationally.

Advance Voting in Person is 13
Days Away.
Specifically, we know several tidal waves are coming.  But we know this mostly because history tells us so.  The waves right now, though, have been manageable.

We've had a lot of interest in advance voting and we're seeing ballots returned from our military and overseas voters.

But right now, we're at about 40 percent of the volume of ballots that we sent out 20 days before the 2008 presidential election. We sent out about 36,000 that day, but we're at around 14,000 right now.

We have a postcard that hits voters late this week as a reminder of the election and I expect at least 5,000 advance applications over the weekend.  By October 17, this year's date that is 20 days before the election, we'll probably be loading up about 26,000 ballots to go to the post office.

That's a significant drop from 2008.

We don't have a U.S. Senate race as we did in 2008.  The U.S. Congress race involves the incumbent Republican but no Democratic challenger.

So, there isn't a large engine driving turnout beyond president and the local state races.  I knew that would impact turnout, initially predicting a drop from 78 percent in 2008 to 75 percent.  Now, I wonder if we'll see 73.

We expected the presidential debate to trigger activity last week, and to some degree it did, and next week will be nutty regardless because of the 12 election worker training classes we have scheduled.  If the first big wave hits Monday, as I'm now expecting, it will have double the impact because of the amped up week ahead.

For now, we sit in this odd place of about 72 hours, knowing things are about to explode.  We're ready.