Alaskans have requested absentee ballots in such great numbers that they are crushing the record books.
Between early voting, absentee ballots requested, and online voting, more than 63,400 Alaskans have already gotten engaged with the 2020 Alaska primary.
Compare that to 2018, when that number was about 22,000 at this point in the election cycle.
That’s a 200 percent increase.
So far, Democrats have outdone themselves on the absentee ballot requests. They’ve asked for 16,560 absentee ballots, compared with Republicans, who have requested 15,105.
That is offset by a nearly 75 percent drop in the early vote, which Democrats typically dominate.
This appears to be a change in Democrat voting behavior, switching to absentee ballots rather than showing up at the polls for early voting.
Nationally, Democrats have been pushing for vote by mail, and have a greater aversion to being in public places where they might catch the COVID-19 coronavirus. Republicans have been less fearful about going to the polls, according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll.
How many will vote by Tuesday in the primary? Nobody knows, and it varies wildly. In 2018, 115,737 Alaskans voted in the primary, while in 2016, nearly 89,000 voted. In 2014, the total was 193,097.