A word to the wise: projections are that up to a third of votes will be cast before November 6

By Dave Andrusko

Major Garrett

A fascinating piece in the National Journal written by Major Garrett reminds us that this is not your father’s election day voting. More than30% of voters will cast their ballots for pro-life Mitt Romney or pro-abortion Barack Obama BEFORE November 6!

Put another way, there aren’t 48 days until the election. “Voting has already begun and the pace will quicken soon,” Garrett explains at www.nationaljournal.com/columns/all-powers/why-early-voting-could-be-pivotal-2012h0918.

To take just one example, North Carolina has been casting absentee ballots since September 7! Over the next few days, other states will begin casting absentee ballots and one (Virginia) initiates in-person voting this coming Saturday.

Garrett writes

“Just under 30 percent of all ballots cast in the 2008 presidential election were submitted or filled out before Election Day. Analysts at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission expect that nearly a third of all ballots in the 2012 election will be filled out ahead of time—either through in-person early voting, absentee ballots, or military personnel voting from overseas posts. Almost 17 percent of the vote in 2008 was through mail-in absentee ballots. Thirteen percent came from in-person early voting (doubling the 2004 turnout of 6.4 percent).

“And statistics from crucial battleground states are even more revealing. Early and absentee voting accounted for nearly 79 percent of Colorado’s vote, 67 percent of Nevada’s, 62 percent of New Mexico’s, 61 percent of North Carolina’s, 52 percent of Florida’s, 36 percent of Iowa’s, 25 percent of Ohio’s, 21 percent of Wisconsin’s, 20 percent of Michigan’s, and 13 percent of Virginia’s. Those numbers will rise this cycle. Voters prefer the convenience of early voting and the freedom to turn off the TV commercials.”

The point needn’t be belabored. There will be friends and family for whom early balloting would be beneficial, in some cases necessary, if they are to have their voice heard. Please pass this story along to them using Facebook or Twitter.

All of this, of course, assumes people have registered to vote. The how and why of that is explained in “May sound simple, but you can’t vote if you are not registered!”

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