Sunday, November 02, 2008

Arizona May Not Be Decided Until After November 4

Turnout in Arizona has been tremendous, as long lines have become the norm, thanks to early voting. The state has become an unlikely tossup, with only a couple points seperating McCain and Obama.

The race is so close, in fact, that it may be decided by absentee ballots, which means one thing...we won't have a winner in Arizona on election night:

Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University who specializes in voting patterns, predicts the highest turnout in a century. "We're going to definitely beat the turnout rate in 2004. The question is by how much," McDonald said. "It's not just an election of a generation, it's an election of generations with an 's.' "

Reed said 827,380 Maricopa County residents had requested absentee ballots or had voted early as of 2 p.m. Friday. The county has seen 566,656, or 68.4 percent, of those ballots returned. There are about 1.7 million registered voters in the county.

Early ballots figure to create a significant delay in the compilation of final results. Officials expect that about 200,000 early ballots won't be marked or mailed early but instead will be walked into a polling place or will arrive via mail on Election Day.

Those ballots won't be processed until two days after the election, Reed said, and Maricopa County hopes to have all of them compiled by Nov. 21.

There are always a couple states like this on election night, it seems. Thank goodness Arizona won't be deciding the election. I don't think any of us can handle another all-night nailbiter like election night 2000.

I am especially thrilled at the turnout predictions - 80 to 80 percent. That is just fantastic. Those are Minnesota numbers. If only the rest of the nation could be bothered to tune in like that.

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