It doesn't look good.
According to the Lucas County Board of Elections Cumulative file there are 4,734 absentee and early vote ballots. With a few days left, we may have 5,900 absentee votes ahead of the election. And, mind you, a whole lot that have been shipped haven't been returned.You've got to look back to 1993 to see numbers that low. And, important to note, voter registration in 1993 was 83% of what it is today.There were 10,540 absentee and early votes cast in the 2005 mayoral general election, and 12,318 in 2009. That amounted to 13.5% and 17.9% of the total votes in the respective elections.In those two mayoral elections, turnout in the mayoral general was about 186% of the primary turnout. That would mean we're looking at a total turnout of 46,000 votes this year.(By comparison, there were 68,845 votes cast in the 2009 general election between Mike Bell and Keith Wilkowski.)But, those years had much higher absentee and early vote numbers than we've got this year. As well as much higher primary votes - 41,998 and 36,755 against 25,100 ballots in this year's primary.In short, we had a primary election that was lower than the lowest foreseeable turnout.It wasn't out of the range of possibility, but prior to the election it felt nonsensical to think it'd be as low as it turned out to be. We're seeing absentee and early vote numbers lower than anything in recent history. We have a general election that is uninspiring, and being ignored by a lot of voters. The candidates on the ballot in November are 'leaving votes on the table,' in that there are people who should have voted already, over 3,700, who haven't bothered to.That's why I have some confidence in a projection of 38,000 to 43,000 total votes in the mayoral general election this year.