Campos has been tracking mail ballot requests to the Harris County Clerk.
Here is what the County put out yesterday evening:
As of this evening we have approved 71,101 applications and sent out 67,376 ballots. We have received 19,468 voted ballots returned.
25,848 have been generated by the GOP and 20,866 by Dems.
In an earlier entry, Campos noted that “In 2008 in Harris County, 76,187 requested mail ballots and 67,612 (88.7%) were returned and counted. In 2010 in Harris County, 69,991 requested mail ballots and 55,560 (79.4%) were returned and counted.”
So 55.3% of the ballots that have been requested by people with an identifiable primary voting history are going to Republicans. Out of curiosity, I looked at the two most recent Presidential-year elections in Harris County for a point of comparison. In 2004, 29,926 absentee ballot voters went for George W. Bush, and 17,010 went for John Kerry. That’s 63.8% for Bush. In 2008, the numbers were 41,986 absentee voters for John McCain, and 24,503 for Barack Obama; that’s 63.1% of absentee votes for McCain. Already we have more absentee ballots requested with more than a week to go before early voting starts than were cast in 2008, and about as many that can be identified by party primary voting as were cast in 2004. We don’t know how many of those requesters from each group will actually return their ballots, and we don’t know how many of those 19,000 or so non-primary voters really belong to each party, but early on at least it looks like Democrats may have closed the absentee gap a bit. Whether that means anything for the final totals I couldn’t say – it’s entirely possible that most if not all of the new absentee ballot requesters are folks who would have voted in person anyway, in which case this is just shifting things around a bit. I make note of this because I’m a numbers guy and these are some interesting numbers. Are you voting by mail this year, and if so have you done it before? Leave a comment and let us know.