If the early voting numbers are any indicator, get ready for a huge turnout on Super Tuesday. In state after March 1 state, election officials are reporting increases in the number of voters who cast their ballot before election day. Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts — to name just a few — report upticks in absentee ballots and voter registration. In at least two of the 12 states voting Tuesday, Georgia and Tennessee, election officials report dramatic surges that have blown past previous records. “We are seeing an upsurge. In the last couple of election cycles we’ve seen about 100,000 people early vote. Through yesterday, we’ve had about 120,000 already. And we’ve got today, tomorrow and Monday still,” Chris Powell, a spokesman in the Arkansas secretary of state’s office, said Friday. The numbers vary but the story is similar in many of the Super Tuesday states — voters seem primed to come out in large numbers and are eager to vote earlier in 2016.
So far this year, the real action has been on the Republican side. The Iowa GOP caucuses blew through past records and the Nevada GOP reported more than twice as many voters participated in the caucuses Tuesday as in 2012. The New Hampshire and South Carolina GOP primaries also saw higher turnout this year than in 2012.
The contours of the presidential primary season, where there are competitive nomination battles in both parties, appear to be a key driver. Seventeen GOP presidential candidates at the beginning of the cycle meant lots of Republicans were all pushing supporters to take an active role in 2016. The excitement generated by real estate mogul Donald Drumpf on the right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders on the left, has also powered interest in the presidential race.
Full Article: Super Tuesday turnout set to smash records – POLITICO.