Adopt New Voting Habits To Win Elections

By Fairfax GOP Data Team

National headlines may grab your attention, but we want to remind you to keep your eye on elections here in Virginia.  Early voting for the presidential primary opened on 1/20, and so far, Republican turnout is low. Too low!

We Need To Up Our Game  

Both Republicans and Democrats have a presidential primary, but as of February 15th, requests for Democrat ballots outnumbered Republicans by almost 2-to-1, even when cross-over votes are taken into consideration.  The 2021 Virginia statewide election saw the highest Republican turnout in recent years, at 34.77% with 149,807 votes for Governor Glenn Youngkin. More Republicans traditionally vote on Election Day than in during early voting, and this has to change if we want to win!

Why should you vote Early In-Person?

Work demands, travel, traffic, illness and bad weather can all sabotage your best intentions to  vote on Election Day.  Don’t let the unexpected jeopardize your chance to vote! Last week’s special election for New York’s Congressional District 3 is a great example.  A major snowstorm suppressed Republican voting on Election Day, and Democrat Tom Suozzi, who had amassed a big lead in early voting, flipped the seat.  Make a plan to vote early, in-person at any of Fairfax County’s satellite locations, or by requesting an absentee ballot by mail.  The last day to request a ballot by mail is February 23rd and early voting in person ends on Saturday, March 2.

Fairfax Has A Higher Rate Of Cross-Over Voting

According to an analysis by the Fairfax GOP Data Team, as of February 15 about one third of the 3,902 ballots cast in early voting for the March 5, 2024 Republican Presidential Primary were cast by voters identified as Democrats based on in their past voting records. The non-profit Electoral Process Education Corporation (EPEC) published similar cross-over voting results statewide, but at a lower rate than in Fairfax County: “Approximately 12.4% of the 45,613 ballots already cast in the 2024 VA Republican primary are associated with historically Democrat leaning registrants.” 

Why Can Democrats Vote In The Republican Presidential Primary?

In Virginia, voters do not register with a political party.  Virginia is an “open primary” state, which allows voters to request a ballot for either party, but not both.

In 2024, many more Democrat mail-in ballots have been requested than Republican: 39,827 Democrat ballots compared to 8,840 Republican ballots. Voters have returned 12,072 Democrat ballots or 30% of those requested, and 3,074 Republican ballots or 35%. An additional 828 voters cast Republican ballots in-person at early voting satellites, compared to 804 Democrats. Daily turnout reports for both Democrat and Republican Presidential Primaries are posted on the Fairfax Office of Elections website.

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2024 U.S. Senate & Congressional Primary

GOP Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 18

Election Calendar

  • Early voting opens 5/3
  • 5/28 – Deadline to register to vote (otherwise, same-day registration with provisional ballot)
  • 6/7 – Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot​
  • 6/8 - One of two Saturdays open for early voting, and additional early voting locations open.
  • Early Voting ends 6/15
  • 6/18 – Election Day

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