I called the General Registrar for Arlington County and talked to her about their in-person and mail-in absentee ballots so far. In person absentee started in Virginia 45 days before the election, as required by state law. Last week they’d had 7,100 total votes – 5,400 in person and 1,600 mail-in. Today, with 13 days left to go, they had almost 14,000.
That exceeds the total absentee ballots cast in 2004 in Arlington Country, and Deputy Registrar Donna Patterson says they’re currently seeing just under 1,000 a day in-person voters. If that number stays constant they’ll surpass 20,000 total absentee votes. While eligible Arlington voters have increased from about 130,000 to 143,000, that’s only a 10% increase. If absentee votes cut off today they’d already have surpassed 2004′s 12,000 absentee ballots by more than 15%. The possible 20,000 is a 66% increase.
It’s pretty impressive, and hopefully an indication of how much turnout there will be on election day.