“Democrats Preferred to Vote by Mail. But as Election Day Nears, More Say They’ll Head to the Polls”

This is from the latest Morning Consult Poll:

But as Nov. 3 has inched closer, questions over the U.S. Postal Service’s ability to deliver mailed ballots on time has prompted some Democratic organizers to encourage people to vote in person. Morning Consult/Politico polling shows that guidance may be resonating with the party’s base, with more Democrats saying they plan to cast their ballots in-person. 

An Oct. 8-10 poll found the share of Democrats who now plan to vote in person rose 12 percentage points, to 42 percent, compared with a July 31-Aug. 2 survey that gauged how they preferred to vote, while the share who plan to vote by mail was down 10 points from the 65 percent who said that was their inclination in the summer.

Another way to put these numbers is there has been about a 50% increase in the percentage of Democrats who now plan to vote in person compared to how they thought they would vote back in early August. I suspect this number is going to continue going up as we get closer to the election.

Perhaps the messaging that has been coming out encouraging voters to vote in person, to avoid various issues absentee balloting might generate, has been getting through; or perhaps voters are becoming more comfortable seeing voting as comparable to going to the grocery store or similar places that people have gotten comfortable going to with masks and social distancing in place.

Whatever the reasons, it’s extremely good news for the election process. The higher the percent of the vote that’s in-person, the more it diminishes the role of absentee ballots and the three main risks the latter pose: (1) mail delays; (2) rejection rates; and (3) significant delays in knowing who has won the election.

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