“Last minute” voting

Early votingEarly voting begins today (October 18). In the 2008 general election about 5.3 million Texans cast their votes early. That was 66% of the roughly 8.1 million votes cast by Texans in the election.

It appears that “early voting” is now so common that the it is more common than traditional voting on election day. We may need to change how we label voting since the old norm of lining up to vote on election day may become the domain of the last-minute voter who, like their Christmas Eve shopping counterpart, are left to squeeze their voteĀ decision in during extended hours on the last day.

Political campaigns have been adapting to the new order for years. With voting beginning well ahead of election day, campaigns now need to peak earlier to make sure they catch voters’ ears before they cast their ballots. Late voters may be often late deciders, but campaigns are going to worry that they they’ll reach swing voters too late.

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