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Tags: voters | pandemic | early | mail | elections

Report: Voters Keeping Pandemic Voting Habits in Midterms

By    |   Saturday, 22 October 2022 12:47 PM EDT

Voters are keeping early and mail-in voting habits from the 2020 pandemic-era election, a new report said.

According to the report on the DNYUZ website, there is a surge in the number of voters already casting ballots early and by mail in the November midterm elections, embracing the habits implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 elections.

"There has been a sea change of voter attitudes that has not abated," John Couvillon, a pollster who has worked with Republican candidates told the news outlet. "When you do a culture shift like that, you never go 100% back to the way things were for the simple reason that people, who out of habit may have been happy voting on Election Day, said, Wait a minute, I can vote from the convenience of my kitchen table? This is so much simpler."

According to the report, 5.5 million voters have already cast their ballots in the midterm polling, with Democrats making up 51% and Republicans 30% of those cast ballots.

In Georgia, in-person turnout for early voting is up 70% compared to the 2018 midterm races; early voting is up 50% in Florida; and absentee ballot requests are up 114% in North Carolina, according to the report.

Despite the surge in early numbers, experts interviewed by the organization expressed caution that the increase is a harbinger of what the turnout on Election Day will be but do say the "energy" in both political parties could mean a record turnout overall for the cycle.

"We're seeing both sides being really energized this time around, which is pretty unique to a midterm cycle," Patrick Ruffini, a Republican pollster, said in the report. "Normally, the out party is just far more energized and enthused about voting."

Politico reported in June 2021 that several states changed voting rules both ahead of and after the 2020 race. For example, Nevada and Vermont made universal mail-in voting for registered voters permanent for general elections.

Kentucky enacted a law making early in-person voting permanent, whereas other red states have enacted more restrictions after the 2020 race.

"We're the only Republican state, the only conservative state, the only red state — however you want to put it — certainly, the only state with a Republican Legislature that has made voting easier this year," Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, a Republican, told Politico. "I'm really proud of that."

Democrats in Congress attempted to pass a federal law to make voting easier. But that legislation, known as the For the People Act and which passed the House in March 2021, is not likely to pass in the Senate.

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Voters are keeping early and mail-in voting habits from the 2020 pandemic-era election, a new report said.
voters, pandemic, early, mail, elections
Saturday, 22 October 2022 12:47 PM
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