Editor’s note: This post was updated after publication to include Sunday voting numbers.
Take a look at how much early voting jumped this year compared to 2012. It’s even up from 2008. Yesterday we broke an early voting record in Miami-Dade, with 53,095 ballots cast in one day.
Here’s the math: that’s a 101.8 percent increase in early voting over 2012. We more than doubled the numbers.
Bonus fact: Between early voting and vote by mail, 52.6 percent of registered voters in Miami-Dade had already voted by the time the polls closed Saturday.
Does that mean that overall turnout this election – early, mail-in, absentee, and Election Day voting combined – is probably going to be higher? Not necessarily. NPR took a look at that:
Studies on this have turned out to have scattershot results. On the one hand, a 2008 paper assessed the research and found that early and absentee voting together have “a small but statistically significant impact on turnout,” somewhere between 2 and 4 percent.
But then, there’s evidence in the opposite direction. One recent study found that early voting may indeed slightly reduce turnout. In fact, it found that for every 10 days a state offers early voting, turnout declines by 1 percentage point. The researchers concluded that early voting may bring in some new voters, but that’s counterbalanced by the fact that early voting takes attention away from Election Day itself, and all the get-out-the-vote, sometimes referred to as GOTV, efforts that go with it.
In addition, it found that wealthier and more educated people were more likely to take advantage of early voting. Same-day or Election Day registration in combination with early voting, it found, was the solution to this drop in turnout.
But nothing about this election is normal or following the rules. So let’s knock it out of the park on Tuesday.