Absentee ballots drop 22% from four years agoOctober 21st, 2010 at 7:00 am by Ted Nesi under News and Politics
The secretary of state’s office tells me Rhode Island voters requested 10,658 mail ballots ahead of last week’s deadline – down 22% from the 13,686 requested in 2006. Spokesman Chris Barnett said “2006 to 2010 is an apples-to-apples comparison because the general offices [governor, lieutenant governor, etc.] are on the ballot” in both years; in 2008, a presidential election year, 21,598 mail ballots were requested.
Why the drop from 2006 to 2010? Barnett declined to speculate, but I can think of a couple potential explanations.
Rhode Island was a U.S. Senate battleground in 2006 – first when Lincoln Chafee faced Steve Laffey in the Republican primary, then when Chafee took on Sheldon Whitehouse in the general – and that race’s publicity combined with Democrats’ anti-Bush enthusiasm may have boosted the number. A more depressing explanation could be that fewer people will be away on business trips or vacations this year because of the weak economy.
Miss the deadline for a mail ballot but can’t make it on Nov. 2? You can still apply for an emergency mail ballot.