Election Data Analysis Election Integrity technical

Ballot Completion Rate for VA Absentee Voters

Below is an analysis of the VA statewide voter completion rate for absentee ballots compiled from the 2022 General Election Daily Absentee List (DAL) file downloaded from the VA Dept of Elections (“ELECT”) on 2022-11-15 17:46:21.

The DAL file records the transactions of all absentee ballots during the early voting period in VA elections. It includes records for both mail-in and in-person early voting transactions. It does not record the the actual values of the voted ballots, but the “fact-of” a registered voters checking in to an early voting site, or mailing their ballot application or completed ballot to the registrar, etc. The DAL record is published daily over the course of the early voting period and the file is cumulative.

For the purposes of this analysis a “Completed” ballot is a ballot that has been recorded in the DAL file as reaching a state in which the ballot can be considered to be tabulate-able. A “Completed” ballot must have its “APP_STATUS” field set to “Approved” AND have the “BALLOT_STATUS” field set to (“FWAB” OR “Marked” OR “On Machine” OR “Pre-Processed”).

The “VOTER_TYPE” field was used to separate records into “Military”, “Overseas” or “Temporary(Federal-Only Ballot)” and the ballot completion rate was computed for each sub-category, as well as overall.

All Absentee Voters
Avg Transactions Per Voter1.03
Avg Completion Rate Per Voter91.95%
Num Of Unique Voters1,057,268
Military Voters (VOTER_TYPE==”Military”)
Avg Transactions Per Voter1.08
Avg Completion Rate Per Voter78.60%
Num Of Unique Voters9,346
Overseas Voters (VOTER_TYPE==”Overseas”)
Avg Transactions Per Voter1.17
Avg Completion Rate Per Voter63.63%
Num Of Unique Voters7,052
Temporary Federal Voters (VOTER_TYPE==”Temporary(Federal-Only Ballot)”
Avg Transactions Per Voter1.21
Avg Completion Rate Per Voter61.14%
Num Of Unique Voters1,539

The data above shows that there is a distinct statistical discrepancy in the ability of Military, Overseas, or Temporary Federal Workers to complete their absentee ballots in comparison to standard ballots. These categories of voters are specifically reliant on the Mail-In absentee ballot process, and are demonstrably not having the same ability to have their votes cast and counted as is provided to standard absentee voters.

This discrepancy might be due to any number of potential reasons or mechanisms, which cannot be determined from the DAL data as provided by ELECT. The discrepancy demonstrably exists, though, and it should be investigated and remedied by legislators and officials in order to remedy the comparative disenfranchisement of specific classes of VA voters..

I will note for completeness that the first discovery and observation of this discrepancy was due to the diligent work of a fellow EPEC board member. I independently validated his results and created the scripts to process the data on a statewide basis to produce these tables. As always I am happy to provide the raw data, scripts and results to interested parties that are capable of receiving and handling VA election data according to VA law and the policies of ELECT. Interested parties can contact us to request more information.

One reply on “Ballot Completion Rate for VA Absentee Voters”

Leave a Reply