The Virginia State Board of Elections announced earlier today a revision in the 2008 absentee ballot numbers, the result being that “absentee voting in Virginia is actually 30% lower compared to the same point four years ago.” Um yeah – with good reason.
Recall, if you will, that Virginia is not an early voting state. In order to vote absentee, you must have one of these 11 excuses. In 2008, voters were encouraged to vote absentee. Even so, only about 500,000 of the more than 3.7 million votes cast were by absentee ballot. No such encouragement has been forthcoming this year from the SBE, which really isn’t a surprise.
Nevertheless, I had the opportunity to ask of the Obama campaign today about what they are seeing. VA is not alone in not having early voting; PA and NH also have the excuse thing going on. I was told that in counties in VA where President Obama won in 2008, he is actually doing better in 2012. But, I was told, absentee ballots are “not going to be a determining factor in VA.”
So there you have it.