Minimizing and Curing Deficient Ballots Could Be Key in GA Runoffs

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
  • While only a minuscule percentage of Georgia ballots were either rejected or designated as “spoiled” in the general election, if the upcoming Senate runoffs are as close as anticipated, deficient ballots could be the difference between victory and defeat.
  • In the general election, younger Georgians and people of color were overrepresented among voters who cast deficient ballots and those who did not cure their ballots.
  • Only 0.19% of vote-by-mail ballots submitted in the Senate runoff election thus far have been rejected or marked spoiled, but a racial gap persists, suggesting an opportunity for targeted outreach.
  • For gender: Female voters were more likely to have their ballots designated as deficient at any point in time compared with male voters. However, they were also more likely to cure their ballots than their male counterparts. As a result, the female/male share of voters with ballots ultimately marked as deficient is similar to the makeup of the electorate.
  • For generation: Perhaps unexpectedly, it was Generation Z, Boomers, and the Silent Generation and older that were much more likely to have their ballots marked deficient at any point in time. However, older voters made the effort to cure their ballots at higher rates than their younger counterparts. The end result is that Generation Z made up a larger portion of voters whose ballots were ultimately marked deficient compared to their share of the electorate.
  • For race: Black and Asian voters were much more likely to have their ballots marked deficient at any point in time compared to voters of other races. On the other hand, white voters were significantly less likely to have their ballots marked deficient. However, Black voters appear to have taken greater initiative to cure their ballots than voters of other races. Despite those efforts, Black voters were still heavily overrepresented in the population of voters whose ballots were ultimately marked deficient.

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