If it seems like there’s even more campaign ads on television than in the past couple of weeks, that’s probably because early voting begins today.
According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, about 2.5 million early ballots are in the mail. Roughly 930,000 of those early ballots are going to registered Republicans, 830,000 to registered Democrats and 720,000 to independents and others.
Garrett Archer, a senior analyst at the Secretary of State’s Office, estimated that about three-fourths of all votes cast in the 2018 general election will be early ballots.
Yesterday was the deadline to register to vote for the November 6 election, and Archer tweeted that, in the preceding 48 hours, more than 60,000 Arizonans sought to register to vote or to change their voter registrations. He told the Mirror that he expects Democrats to narrow the voter registration gap with Republicans once those registrations are all processed.
As of the last count by the Secretary of State’s Office, at the time of the August primary election, there were 1,264,295 registered Republicans in the state, making up 34.81 percent of all registered voters, compared to 1,111,580 Democrats, or 30.6 percent of registered voters. Archer said Republicans have led Democrats in total registration by at least five percentage points for the past several years, but that the figure has dropped to around 3.8 percentage points since the last count. He said he expects that the gap will have narrowed to about 3.5 points once the registration backlog is processed.
Archer tweeted that Democrats have led Republicans in total registrations in 27 of the past 41 weeks. And, since mid-June, he said Democrats have gained an average of 200 new voters against the Republicans each week.