September 24th, 2012
08:31 PM ET

Early voting becomes a major factor in elections

With 43 days until election day, chances are you can vote right now if you don't want to wait until November 6th. By the end of this month, voters in 30 states will be able to cast their ballots in the presidential election.

In total, about 35 percent of voters – are expected to vote early this year, up from 30 percent in 2008.

Which side benefits more from this shifting election "day"? And how will it impact what happens on the election battlefield between now and November 6th?

OutFront tonight: CNN Contributors David FrumJohn Avlon and Priorities USA Sr. Strategist Bill Burton.

In voting, the early bird skips the line

Come the first Tuesday in November, when millions are streaming into polling stations across the country, as much as 40% of Americans will have already voted.

In 2004, 22% of Americans voted early and that rate rose to 34% in 2008, according to Paul Gronke, Professor of Political Science who founded and runs the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College in Oregon.

Not only is early voting changing the way Americans cast their ballot but it's also changing the way candidates run their campaigns.

"People find it much easier if they can choose the time to vote ... rather than show up on one day of the week," said Tom Slockett, Johnson County, Iowa, commissioner of elections and the county's voting auditor.

Slockett said early voting is insurance against the expected - finals at the University of Iowa or an out-of-town business trip - or the unexpected, like a sick child.


Filed under: 2012 Election • News • Politics
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