Almost Half Of California Voters Could Vote Before Election Day
Oct. 26 marked the last day California voters could apply for voter-by-mail status--one of the two ways voters can cast early ballots in the state. California law says any registered voter may vote using a vote-by-mail ballot instead of going to the polls on election day.
The numbers show 23 percent, about 1 million, of registered voters in Los Angeles County are early voters. Of those, nearly 25 percent have returned their ballots.
Though California does not offer a breakdown by party of the early votes, Republicans are not expected to have any sort of edge in California.
Democrats need women and Latino voters in the state more than ever, and have targeted early voting since the 2008 presidential election. Between November 2008 and September 2010, Democrats added about 200,000 members to their voter role in L.A. County, six times as many people as Republicans added.
In the 2008 election, 42 percent of all ballots cast were those of early voters. However, because the presidential election was one with a high turn out, the absentee vote had less of an impact. In low-turnout elections, the early vote plays a significant role in the outcome.
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For recent Neon Tommy coverage on absentee voting, click here.