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Could Early Voting Mean Future September Surprises Instead?

What happens in the next 11 days might not be so crucial, as many voters have already cast their ballots! Four years ago, one in five Americans voted before Election Day. But based on turnout so far, the rate will be much higher this year.

One voter in Indiana shared the early-voting experience with Politico:

The most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn't in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president. Anyone who doesn't think that African-American turnout will absolutely SHATTER every existing record is in for a very rude surprise. There were about 20 people in front of me but remarkably not a single person left the room without voting over the 2 hours it took to get through the line.

The amount of passion surrounding this election is enough to give me goose bumps; but the account also brings up an advantage of early voting — avoiding Election Day calamities. If the lines are two hours long this far out, imagine if no one could vote early! Perhaps by 2012 we'll await a game-changing event in September, instead of the traditional October surprises. Did you vote early?


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Linny Linny 7 years
apparently early voting is unconstitutional in Maryland because our constitution says that we have to vote on a specific day. My sister was able to vote abstentee because she is out of state at college. Luckily we get to vote this year to change that aspect of our state law
BRANDYNICOLE730 BRANDYNICOLE730 7 years
I voted as soon as I possibly could. On my way out of town Monday morning, I stopped by and voted, and the process was very smooth. I checked the local news Monday evening, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that my county broke the original first day of early voting record by noon, and it was very clse to being doubled by 5pm. They were talking of adding several more polling places Unfortunately, in my state, overconfidence is not an issue. I was amazed at how many McCain signs I saw when I was out of town. I seen some Obama signs, too. The one that stood out to me the most, was the double sided billboard as soon as you get past the metroplex, that read "There is only one true God loving, American patriot running in this campaign."
janneth janneth 7 years
My ballot be sitting on my counter. Why don't I just fill it out and mail it before it's too late!
ceej ceej 7 years
I must admit I find your election system confusing and overly long. I did study US politics at University but still can't get my head around some aspects! After watching the documentary "Hacking Democracy" I agree it does need an overhaul. We have compulsory attendance on voting day and it means that the govt has to make the ballot papers accessible to the most disenfranchised of our population.
ceej ceej 7 years
I must admit I find your election system confusing and overly long. I did study US politics at University but still can't get my head around some aspects!After watching the documentary "Hacking Democracy" I agree it does need an overhaul. We have compulsory attendance on voting day and it means that the govt has to make the ballot papers accessible to the most disenfranchised of our population.
milosmommy milosmommy 7 years
I'll probably try and go as soon as it's open. It's in a firehouse across the street from my house so I could just run and vote before I go to work.
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
I already voted. :medal: I had to get an absentee ballot this year because I will be out of town all day on Nov 4th.
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
I already voted. :medal:I had to get an absentee ballot this year because I will be out of town all day on Nov 4th.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 7 years
Even if you get in line before 7pm, having to vote the day of assumes a lot about your life. Voting is important but so is your job and kids. Yeah, if your single and have the rest if the night off its no big deal, but I think the mail in ballot makes the process fair to everyone.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 7 years
I'm lucky voting in Oregon. I already voted, its not considered early. Here we use a mail in ballot. You get to sit in the comfort of your home and vote. If you don't do it early enough to mail it in you can drop it off in person.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 7 years
Yeah I was scared that mine wouldn't reach in time as it's difficult for me to get to a post office due to my work hours and the insane lines there during lunch, etc. but then I thought "You will SO regret it if your vote doesn't count in this election due to your own fault"!!! I felt so much better after sending it. I have never been to the polls because I have always lived out of state since I became able to vote, but my parents always go and I've wondered what it's like where I'm from.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
That makes sense since you're dealing with the mail. I received mine October 12th. I admit I have not mailed it back yet. I haven't decided if I want to turn it in on election day.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I think early voting at a polling places starts in mid to late October, but absentee voting starts much earlier.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 7 years
I got mine about two weeks ago (through email and post), maybe a bit more - but that's to ensure that it's sent back in time, since I live so far away.
jenintx jenintx 7 years
Early voting started here in Texas on Oct. 20. I know my little town's paper has had on the front page that the town is seeing record-breaking numbers for early voting, which is amazing. I'm waiting til Election Day, though. I voted early for the primaries and it wasn't as exciting as waiting till the big day. Yes, I get excited over voting. I'm a nerd :)
True-Song True-Song 7 years
A month ago? I think early voting starts in Mid-October. Did anyone else's start earlier than that?
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
I'm not sure I like voting extremely early. We've been talking about people who have begun voting almost a month ago (or it seems like it). I could see having the elections take place on the 1st Tuesday and Wednesday of November, but all that would do is make the majority of voters vote on Wed instead, because almost all of us procrastinate. I tried to once, but never got around to it...
dreamsugar dreamsugar 7 years
My early voting place was empty -- well not totally empty but I got in and got out swiftly. I heard in Florida -- it's pretty bad since they changed the rules about where voting places are allowed to be, when they open and for how long. Most people are waiting 5 hours in line :shocked: -- I wonder who thought of changing the rules. But on election day more voting places will be open -- there's no need to wait in lines if you don't have to.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 7 years
My early voting place was empty -- well not totally empty but I got in and got out swiftly.I heard in Florida -- it's pretty bad since they changed the rules about where voting places are allowed to be, when they open and for how long. Most people are waiting 5 hours in line :shocked: -- I wonder who thought of changing the rules.But on election day more voting places will be open -- there's no need to wait in lines if you don't have to.
c-a-t-h c-a-t-h 7 years
i'm getting chills just thinking about how this election is going to go down in history.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
i'm hoping to get out of work early today so i can head to the polls. i have to vote early though, cuz i'll be out of the country on election day!
True-Song True-Song 7 years
Juju, there will be volunteers on special "comfort teams" to bring people hot cocoa or do other things to keep people in line. If you're in line by 7 pm, you have the right to vote if you stay. The last vote was cast in 2004 at 3 am! I voted early via mail in ballot. And I shared that story about the older woman in the post in the comments on that purple heart post! I thought it was really moving.
juju4 juju4 7 years
It made me so upset in the primaries in California, when the "double bubble" rule wasn't made clear to voters. I saw independents asking for ballots and the volunteers weren't telling them that they had to select a party at the top of their ballot in order for their vote to count. I asked the volunteers if they knew about that rule, and they had no idea. I am so glad that many states are allowing people to vote early. I am in Missouri, which only allows early voting if you will be out of your district on the day of the election. I know that we are expecting record turn out, so I plan on arriving before the polls open so that I know that I will be able to vote and that it will be counted. I am going to be so frustrated if people are turned away or leave after waiting in long lines and never get the chance to vote! Since voting is so critical to our government, and participation is strongly encouraged, how is it that we are so unprepared to handle large numbers of voters? I mean, even if 75% of registered voters actually voted, I still think it would probably be less than 60% of the total population. Does anyone have any actual numbers on this?
juju4 juju4 7 years
It made me so upset in the primaries in California, when the "double bubble" rule wasn't made clear to voters. I saw independents asking for ballots and the volunteers weren't telling them that they had to select a party at the top of their ballot in order for their vote to count. I asked the volunteers if they knew about that rule, and they had no idea.I am so glad that many states are allowing people to vote early. I am in Missouri, which only allows early voting if you will be out of your district on the day of the election. I know that we are expecting record turn out, so I plan on arriving before the polls open so that I know that I will be able to vote and that it will be counted. I am going to be so frustrated if people are turned away or leave after waiting in long lines and never get the chance to vote!Since voting is so critical to our government, and participation is strongly encouraged, how is it that we are so unprepared to handle large numbers of voters? I mean, even if 75% of registered voters actually voted, I still think it would probably be less than 60% of the total population. Does anyone have any actual numbers on this?
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 7 years
I completely agree with Jillness - I voted last week by absentee as I live out of the country and when I showed my co-worker what the ballots look like she admitted she found it a bit confusing/hard to follow. I read the instructions carefully and voted correctly (hehehe I think) but I could definitely see a LOT of people being confused by our ballots.
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