Hello Loyal Readers,
First of all, let me make everyone here feel a little old. With one exception, I have voted by mail-in ballot my entire voting life. I was able to vote at a polling station once for the 2004 primary right as I turned 18. Since then, every place I’ve lived has had universal mail-in balloting. I am a big fan. I feel like it allows more people the flexibility to find time to vote, and to make informed decisions about who they are voting for. It also provides us a whole addition set of data as to WHEN people make their electoral decisions.
Behold the chart.
Feel free to click on it to make it larger. This chart I made shows how many ballots arrived at the Whatcom County auditor’s office each day starting on the Monday after ballots arrived. Each line represents a different demographic of voters (can’t share what they represent, sorry) but this is everyone who voted, I promise.
The thing that jumps out at me is the pretty flat procession until that last weekend. I always thought that the first weekend would offer a big bump of ballots. Voters who are energized about their candidates would quickly fill out and turn in their ballots, but that didn’t seem to happen this year. There was a surge that struck in the second weekend which makes me envision lots of parents hunkered down at the kitchen table with their voters guides while their kids whirled around them in a Halloween-candy sugar tornado. But the main conclusion is while we have the option to vote on any day of that three week window, most people choose to wait to the last minute. Just like if we had a polling location.