New Jerseyans have already cast 262,095 vote-by-mail and early votes – a little under half of the ballots requested – as of Monday night, according to TargetSmart, which tracks early voting.
Of those votes already cast, TargetSmart says 126,577 come from registered Democrats and 74,908 from Republicans.
Democrats make up 37% of the total voters statewide but comprise 48% of the votes already cast. Republicans are 21% of the total but make up 28% of the ballots returned so far.
Unaffiliated voters who have already voted by mail or in person represents just 7% of all ballots.
Fueled by a new state law that automatically triggered a ballot to be sent to anyone who requested one in 2016, Vote-by-mail ballots cast are up 157% statewide over the 2014 mid-term election. More than 541,000 ballots have already been sent out, with about 51% of them already returned.
The total number of VBM requests – 540,900 – represents about 10% of registered voters in New Jersey.
Women make up 57% of the statewide early voting pool so far. Among those women, Democrats have a near 2-1 advantage.
Among men, Democrats and Republicans are close to even. The number of VBM requests for college graduates and high school graduates is also fairly evenly distributed.
The racial imbalance of returned VBM’s is extraordinary: 85% of all early voting so far are from White voters, while just 12% come from Black, Hispanic and Asian voters.
VBM applications among Asian voters is up 247%.
Early voting is up 427% among voters between the ages of 18 and 29 over the total 2014 vote-by-mail numbers. Of the 18-29 voters who have already returned their ballots, 59% are Democrats and 30% are Republicans. Democrats have a 2-1 registration edge on the total number of VBM ballots sent out.
The challenge for Democrats is getting the ages 18-29 ballots returned. Just 29,579 VBM ballots have been returned out of 103,861 requested. That’s just 28%, significantly below the statewide average.
The increase in VBM requests goes up with each successive age group. New Jerseyans over age 65 have shown a 117% increase in VBM ballots, considerably less than 30-39 (290%), 40-49 (190%), and 50-64 (154%).
TargetSmart is run by Tom Bonior, a Democratic political consultant.