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New NACo data release highlights the key role of counties in elections

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    New NACo data release highlights the key role of counties in elections

    OVER 191 MILLION PEOPLE ACROSS THE NATION HAVE REGISTERED TO VOTE IN THE 2020 GENERAL ELECTION

    Number of registered voters in county jurisdictions by state

    Note: Voter registration data is the latest available and is collected from State Board of Elections websites.

    America’s 3,069 counties, parishes and boroughs are instrumental in every federal, state and local election – providing key funding, overseeing polling places and coordinating poll workers. More than 191 million people in 43 states (where county data is available) and the District of Columbia are currently registered to vote in the 2020 general election.

    NACo’s County Explorer recently updated data on elections, highlighting the key role that county governments play in administering a fair, accurate election. Included in the update is information on election registration, election administration and election participation, all of which can be accessed at Explorer.NACo.org.

    COUNTIES OVERSEE POLLING PLACES AND COORDINATE POLL WORKERS FOR ELECTIONS

    Number of polling places, poll workers and precincts in county jurisdictions by election year

    During the 2016 general election, more than 192 million people were registered and eligible to vote within jurisdictions where counties played a significant role in election administration. In preparation for the 2016 general election, county jurisdictions processed over 70.7 million registration forms. Throughout that election, counties oversaw over 100,000 polling places and organized nearly 800,000 poll workers.

    ELECTION DAY IN-PERSON VOTING IS THE MOST COMMON VOTING MODE USED AND ACCOUNTS FOR MORE THAN HALF OF ELECTION PARTICIPATION

    Election participation by vote mode, by election year

    Note: For 2008 data, by-mail voters only include those their ballot using a by-mail absentee ballot.

    The unprecedented nature of COVID-19 has fundamentally altered the landscape of the 2020 election cycle, with more voters opting to cast ballots by mail. Early voting trends for the 2020 general election have surpassed records. To date, 66.3 million people have cast their ballots for the 2020 election, with 67 percent using mail ballots and 33 percent voting in person before Election Day1.

    In the 2016 general election, over 125 million voters cast their ballots within county jurisdictions – that was 65 percent of voters nationwide. Thirty-two (32) million individuals cast their ballots by mail, that is either using a by-mail absentee ballot or voted in a “vote-by-mail” precinct. Overall, in presidential elections since 2008, more than 352 million individuals cast ballots in county-administered jurisdictions, including nearly 80 million who cast ballots via mail-in methods.

    Despite the increasing popularity of early voting methods (i.e., mail ballots and in-person early voting), Election Day in-person voting remains the most popular voting method for residents across the nation. In the last six election cycles, election day in-person voting accounted for more than half of participation.

    COUNTY LEADERS WORK TO ENSURE FAIR, SECURE, ACCURATE ELECTION

    Registered voters by county, 2020

    Before, during and after Election Day, county governments and elections officials across the country will work diligently and tirelessly to process and count ballots, and thereby execute a fair, secure and accurate election. Election officials assure that delayed results do not indicate a problem or compromise accuracy.

    To assist in the response to voters, candidates and the media, NACo developed a customizable press release for county officials. Click here for a link to the template.

    To explore the data, visit Explorer.NACo.org.

    1. The United States Elections Project, Available at https://electproject.github.io/Early-Vote-2020G/index.html (October, 2020)

    America’s 3,069 counties, parishes and boroughs are instrumental in every federal, state and local election – providing key funding, overseeing polling places and coordinating poll workers. 
    2020-11-02
    Blog
    2020-11-03

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