SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento County’s elections office is reporting a historic number of ballots cast in early voting so far.
Three times as many ballots have been cast so far this year compared to the last election year at around this time.
CBS13 has now learned who is casting those early ballots at such a record pace.
“We expected to see an increase, but not the increase that we have seen,” said county spokesperson Janna Haynes.
The Sacramento County elections office is at full capacity to handle the increase.
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“What we’re seeing in Sacramento county is exactly the thing we’re seeing statewide, which is record-high turnout,” said Paul Mitchell, with Political Data, a voter data firm based in California.
Mitchell incorporated statewide numbers and said the huge early voting is coming from mostly registered Democrats, with many registered Republicans pledging they will wait to vote in person.
“That polarization of voting mechanic is something that we’ve never seen before,” Mitchell said.
In Sacramento County, the numbers show that of the ballots processed so far, around 24,000 have been from registered Democrats.
Only 9,000 have been cast by registered Republicans.
Mitchell attributes that big difference to the difference in how each party is influencing people to cast their votes. Republicans are warning people against early voting as Democrats are telling people to cast their votes now.
“It is emblematic of our culture in our last several years that we can’t find a thing in the world that we don’t turn into a partisan test,” Mitchell said. “But we have, whether you say you’re going to vote by mail or at the polls, turned it into a partisan test.”
Mitchell said that because many Democrats are casting ballots early, the early returns on Election Day may show Democrats leading races with a big swing coming later when Republican votes are processed.
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