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?