Fun Facts about the 2008 presidential election


Yes, Election Day was two days ago. And the presidential election was 365 days ago. But the Election Assistance Commission only released the results of its 2008 Election Administration and Voting Survey and its 2008 Uniformed and Overseas Voting Act Survey today.

The commission took the last year to quiz election officials, academics, community groups and voters from the 50 states, four territories and the District of Columbia. It found:

  • More than 190 million Americans were registered to vote, a 14 million voter increase since 2004.
  • Nearly 700,000 Americans used an online form to register to vote.
  • More than 878,000 poll workers staffed approximately 132,000 polling places nationwide.
  • Approximately 61 percent of voters cast their ballots in person at the polling station on Election Day; 17 percent used domestic absentee ballots; 13 percent voted early; 1.3 percent cast provisional ballots; and 0.7 percent sent in absentee ballots from overseas. (The balance falls into the very informative “other” and “not categorized”  categories)
  • Approximately 1 million ballots were sent to military personnel and citizens overseas. Of those, 69 percent were returned and 93.6 percent of those returned were counted.
  • At home, 26 million absentee ballots were distributed and 91 percent were returned and counted.
  • Electronic touch-screen machines were the most common type of voting equipment used in 2008, with 23 states reporting 218,370 touch-screen machines in use. However, the optical scan voting systems are more widespread, with 43 states using them. However, there were only 107,519 optical scanners in use.

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