Early Voting Turnout around the State

The share of all active registered voters who have participated in early voting varies widely around the state from a low of 2.8% in Allegany to 15.5% in Talbot. In Maryland as a whole, 7.1% have cast ballots via early voting.

The state’s largest jurisdictions show quite a spread too. Baltimore City has had low early voting turnout at 4.8%, as has Charles at 5.9%. Prince George’s and Frederick are slightly below average at 6.2%. In contrast, Montgomery is just a bit above average at 7.3%.

The Baltimore suburbs are generally showing above average turnout. Baltimore County and Anne Arundel are a slightly above average at 7.8% and 7.9%, respectively. EV turnout is 9.2% in Harford, and 10.1% in Howard.

While Democrats are turning out at much higher rates than other voters in Montgomery, the share of Democrats does not appear related to overall voter turnout across counties. Indeed, two jurisdictions with lower early voting turnout have the highest rates of Democratic registration-Baltimore City and Prince George’s.

These are also the only two black-majority jurisdictions. Charles is on the edge and also turning out at below state average rates in early voting. (Montgomery is a majority-minority county but with a mixture of non-white groups composing the majority.)

Ben Jealous has repeatedly touted his ability to get minority voters out and his campaign claims that polls are not capturing high rates of minority voting. So far, however, early voting turnout in the state’s most heavily African-American jurisdictions is under performing the state as a whole.

Note that turnout might still be up relative to the past but this graph doesn’t provide evidence in support of world-beating early voting in heavily black jurisdictions (unless we also think that white turnout in these same areas is extremely low for some reason).