Arizona primary early voting shows high turnout, advantage for Democrats
PHOENIX — Ahead of Arizona’s Tuesday primary election, data collected by a Phoenix-based political consulting firm showed the Democratic Party to be benefitting from record levels of voter enthusiasm.
A total of 1,063,828 early ballots had been mailed in by Sunday night, up from 835,000 in 2018 and 682,000 in 2016, according to a press release issued by Data Orbital.
By returning 1.4% more ballots than Republicans, Democrats were on pace to cast more primary ballots than GOP voters for the first time in at least two decades.
Independents had favored Democratic Party candidates by about 8,800 ballots of 117,845 total.
Data Orbital President George Khalaf told KTAR News 92.3 FM Monday that Arizona’s 2020 early voting data represented the highest amount of mail-in voting in the state’s history.
Khalaf added that voter enthusiasm in Arizona has come amid the absence of historically motivating factors — in addition to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I really didn’t know what to expect because of the COVID-19 dynamic and because, quite frankly … there’s not really a contested or very strongly contested statewide primary election, which is what usually draws out turnout,” Khalaf said.
“Even with the lack of that, there’s been quite a bit of turnout … on the side of Democrats.”
Khalaf said that the early voter turnout could be because voters are fearful of physically going to the polls, but it could also indicate a record-breaking year for turnout as a whole if historical indicators hold true.
“Usually, about 70% of the vote gets mailed back — at least in Maricopa and Pima Counties — and about 30% get dropped off on election day,” Khalaf said.
“If that holds, that means there’s going to be tens of thousands of people voting tomorrow.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Martha Maurer contributed to this report.
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