As the January 2010 Special Election wraps up we thought it would be nice to share some fun statistics from this years election. Since the election has not been certified, these numbers could change as ballots are processed by the counties.
As Jeff Mapes alluded to in this piece, early scanning had a major impact on the tallying of votes in this election. According to our number crunching Deputy Secretary of State, it is estimated that by 9:00pm, just one hour after the voting deadline, around 83% of ballots had been tallied. This is thanks to a bill that was passed during the 2009 session, which allows for counties to scan ballots received before the deadline and keep that data stored safely and securely until election day. It should be noted that the ballots are ONLY scanned and not tabulated until election day.
We received some kind words from County clerks, thanking us for making early scanning a reality.
You may remember the Secretary’s turnout prediction of 62% for this special election. Well according to our OCVR data as of yesterday, 1,280,278 of a total 2,049,703, or almost exactly 62% of registered voters, turned in their ballots this election!
Our elections division has 30 days from election day to certify this special election. We will be sure to share the final data with you as it is made available.
We don’t have a magic crystal ball or cool hat here at the Secretary of State’s office, but we do have some pretty smart elections staff. Today our staff offered up a turnout projection of 62% for the upcoming special election.
This projection is based on a number of trends and some similarities in the numbers between what we’re seeing now and the 2004 special election, which also featured a ballot measure on taxes. Some more in depth facts that informed our projection:
- 2004 February Special turnout on a tax increase was 63%. At this point in the election in 2004, about 5% more ballots had been returned than have been in this election;
- However, the MLK holiday took a day of mail delivery out, which did not occur in 2004;
- Ballots are coming in later, but in higher numbers than in 2004. As an example, the first day of returns in 2004 saw 78,530 ballots in, compared to 2,772 in 2010. Most counties are catching up with higher daily returns as the voting window remains open.
- As voters continue to embrace vote-by-mail, we’ve seen them hold onto their ballots longer, usually resulting in a large spike the weekend before election day, and on election day itself. We expect we’ll see that again this year.
This is a very important election to the state of Oregon and Oregonians are acting accordingly. We’ve had about 36% of ballots returned so far, with more than 100,000 more coming in each day, which is truly great considering the proximity to the holidays, including the Federal holiday we had last weekend.
Secretary of State Brown encourages all eligible voters to cast their vote and prove her wrong by shattering the 62% prediction!
What percentage of Oregon’s voters do YOU think will vote in next Tuesday’s election?
For more information about what happens after you’ve turned in your ballot, check out our entry from November From The Ballot Box to The Scanner.