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Rush of Early Ballots from SB School Board District Precincts

Three weeks before Election Day, 15 percent of voters who live within the sprawling Santa Barbara Unified School District already have returned their ballots, according to an analysis by Political Data Inc., California's leading provider of information to campaigns and political professionals.

The firm's ballot tracker shows that 16,950 of the 112,475 registered voters within the district already have returned ballots, a group that is largely older (nearly 50 percent of the early voters are 65 or over); white (more than eight in 10 of the early ballots have been submitted by white voters, in a district that is about 75 percent Caucasian) and Democratic (nearly two-thirds of the early ballots have come from Democrats in a district where 55 percent of registered voters are Democrats).

It is difficult to deduce much about what the early voting data might mean in the wide-open school board race; obviously the campaign for president between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is the election's main event and, with feelings running high against the president throughout California, it is likely that the strong early Democratic vote represents an anti-Trump phenomenon.

The fact that Republican voters -- who represent 18 percent of the registered voter roll within school district lines - are returning their ballots in relatively low numbers -- about 16 percent of the ballots returned to date -- may not be great news for several of the more conservative candidates in the race, however.

Because the school district race is a relatively low-information contest, the Democratic Party endorsement -- which went to incumbents Laura Capps, Wendy Sims-Moten and Jackie Reid -- will likely be significant, as will the endorsement of the Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County, granted to challenger Virginia Alvarez, along with Capps and Sims-Moten.

We'll update the demographics of those voting in the SBUSD regularly.


Image: Map and data courtesy Political Data Inc.

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