About those VA absentee ballot numbers

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.


6 thoughts on “About those VA absentee ballot numbers

  1. South Carolina is another place where you need an excuse to vote “in-person absentee.” You need to attest to the validity of your excuse by reading and signing an oath.

    I did that last week, and now I’m in Central Ohio where true early voting is going forward, although obviously not without some difficulty. We are telling people that even though the actual rule is that the only ID you need is the last four digits of your SS#, bringing other ID if they have it is a good idea. Many remember the lines in past years and that there seemed to be a significant disparity between the poll resources assigned to poor neighborhoods as opposed to the more affluent neighborhoods. This year’s crop of Ohio voters is prepared for that.

    1. The SBE doesn’t have to release the results for the campaigns to know. They have a process of tracking their voters, and knowing which ones voted absentee. They can then tell, based on the totals that the SBE does release, how they are doing.

      A similar process is employed on Election Day.

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