How fast is absentee voting growing?

I got an email overnight challenging Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s assertion that absentee voting had doubled in the 2008 election, compared to 2006. “Derek of Eagan” called it an “apples to oranges” comparison, since 2006 didn’t have a presidential candidate on the ballot.

True enough, but it wasn’t half the election, either.

So here’s what the actual percentages look like, looking back to 2000. It isn’t doubling every election, but there’s pretty steady growth.


  • I think the law changed also to allow more absentee voting. Anyone know for sure?

  • Is that “all absentee ballots” or just “accepted absentee ballots” ? When you consider that 60,000 more votes are recorded in each of the last two Presidential contest, which does show a significant increase … regardless of the math. However, it could be even more if the “rejected absentee ballots” are considered. Let me layout a scenario : a voter is only interested in Presidential year elections, so in 2000, the voter sends in his absentee ballot and forgets to sign the outside envelope which makes his ballot ineligible. The next time, the voter does the same thing … once again rejected. This year, he realizes that he must sign the outside envelope … but he is rejected since he is no longer registered since he has not voted in the past four years. I will bet that a lot of 12,000 “rejected absentee ballots” are repeaters.

    I have always wondered how many of these are represented by “overseas” voters ? It’s a tragedy if our soldiers’ overseas votes are unable to be counted because of “technical” rejections. My gut tells me that those voters may have had more problems with maintaining their status on the voter rolls.