Who benefits from early voting?

September 28, 2012

Iowa City, Iowa (CNN) — Katherine Valde is ready when a fellow student says “no thanks” to early voting because of the thrill of casting a ballot on Election Day.

“Things come up, you can have an exam,” says Valde, the president of the University of Iowa Democrats.

“You can wait until Election Day and not know where your precinct is. A lot of students have to go to elementary schools around town, and they don’t have cars, they don’t really know where it is.”

Truth is, Valde knows younger voters like herself are less reliable when it comes to turning out in the crunch, and “with early voting, it just gives us 40 more chances to catch people.”

Valde led by example Thursday, waiting in line for more than an hour to cast her ballot on the first day of in-person early voting in Iowa.

The line at the Iowa City Public Library was dominated by Obama voters, as was a Des Moines polling place CNN visited as the doors opened Thursday.

Valde says the Obama campaign and state Democratic Party have urged her to keep checking her list and pushing students to vote now.

If you vote early, it frees up campaign resources to talk to people who might be undecided,” she told us as she waited patiently to vote.

Iowa is one of 35 states plus the District of Columbia that allow some form of early in-person voting. Of the nine presidential battlegrounds CNN now rates as tossups, only New Hampshire and Virginia do not have large-scale early voting.

In Iowa four years ago, early voting accounted for 36% of the ballots cast for president. In Johnson County, home of the University of Iowa, it was 55%, the highest of Iowa’s 99 counties, and County Auditor Tom Slockett says demand for early ballots so far is up significantly from 2008.

To read more, visit: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/28/politics/king-early-voting/index.html

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