Early voting is happening now!

Have you voted yet?

Lots of web pages talk about early voting dates.

If you’re registered, you can vote today* in:

California (some locations)
DC (some locations)
Florida (some locations)
Idaho (some locations)
New Jersey
New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
South Dakota
Wisconsin (some locations)

Maryland and West Virginia start tomorrow.

*not 100% sure these are accurate, but if you google “early voting”, Google will pop up with information for your state, so you can double check very easily.

#1 has already voted, but #2 is waiting until Saturday.

27 Responses to “Early voting is happening now!”

  1. Shannon Says:

    So I like early voting because it makes life easier for me, but thought you might be interested in the fact that the political science research on this topic suggests that early voting, by itself, actually depresses turnout. See here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.12063/full

    Mainly, this is because voting is driven both by individual factors and societal factors. Early voting negatively impacts mobilization effects, so ultimately, it helps people who were already going to vote, but doesn’t help bring those who weren’t going to vote to the polls – who knew?

    If we want to get serious about increasing turnout, the research suggests that same day registration is the way to go. At any rate, this is perhaps too wonky, but I know that you all do love evidenced based decision-making, so thought I’d share.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’ve seen research saying the opposite too– I think the evidence is mixed (something you can see in the literature review in the paper you link to). I don’t know which research has better methodology or if there’s just heterogeneity in the effects. Not something I’ve looked into closely.

      • Shannon Says:

        True, but this is some of the most recent research by leading scholars in one of our leading journals (political science is my field, and my specialization is state politics), so I’m inclined to accept it (I’ve read it too). The colleagues I’ve talked to who do this work seem to suggest the emerging consensus is what’s found in the above. Regardless of that, I do think it’s important to point out that the results around same day registration are not mixed, so I’d much rather see people and politicians expending effort on something we are fairly certain (as much as one can be with the social sciences) works as opposed to something that may not.

    • bogart Says:

      I voted the first day early voting was available in my state, even though I “had to” drive to a second polling place to be able to (or stand in line longer than I wanted). I’m very glad to have it done. The electorate where I was voting seemed pretty diverse, both demographically and ideologically, based on observable characteristics (e.g. t-shirt slogan = ideology?), which surprised me a bit (I’d have predicted liberal-leaning, young, white, high SES), though of course that was just a moment-in-time snapshot at one polling place.

      We have same-day registration at early voting, but not on election day though, to pick up on Shannon’s point above, we should. But our legislature’s focus has instead been on making voting more difficult and less accessible.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Our legislature’s as well. That’s why I’m a bit skeptical that there are going to be uniform effects of early voting across the country. When you allow state governments to close polling places (as in Georgia, TX, etc.), early voting still has multiple hour long lines. It’s just not possible for everybody to be processed on voting day if there aren’t enough polling places. It’s gotta be a dynamic system and different state governments have different objectives and states use a lot of different levers that interact with each other to get those objectives.

        And given the reality of early voting, if that has allowed counties to put in fewer polling places on Nov 8th, then it behooves us to take advantage if we can. (Not to mention that it’s harder for people doing voter intimidation to do it constantly for several weeks whereas a one day target is a lot easier.)

      • Debbie M Says:

        Done. I love being done.

        We still have plenty of polling places in my part of Texas. In fact, there’s a new one (an old, dead mall is being turned into a community college branch and now has early voting). The other person I’ve heard from also had a short line. But the polling place I used to use when I was working had a longish line yesterday. (Yea! Students are voting!)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Docrocktex has been showing pictures from Houston on her twitter feed– there’s some pretty long lines there! Maybe more democrats making decisions about polling places in Austin?

      • Debbie M Says:

        I recently heard Austin called the blueberry in the tomato soup (although the suburbs vote conservative). So maybe.

    • Rosa Says:

      Same day registration is pretty awesome.

      Reasoning from anecdata, I suspect same day registration actually reduces a little bit of harmless technical voter fraud too – a lot of people keep voting their old address because re-registering is confusing or time consuming (just like a lot of people keep their old drivers licenses and license plates longer than they’re supposed to). But same-day registration with friendly ID rules eliminates some of that – the last time I moved, it was only 10 blocks but into a different precinct with some different local races. I probably would have just gone to my old polling place, which matched my driver’s license, except I could register at the right polling place on election day by having a neighbor vouch for me.

      It didn’t matter much – I certainly was only going to vote once! But it fixes a little flaw in the system.

  2. chacha1 Says:

    I voted (by mail) on Friday. We had an embarrassment of riches – two female Democrat candidates for Senator. :-)

    • gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

      California has two female Democrats for Senator, but neither is as progressive as the female Democrat senator they are replacing, so it isn’t really a win. (If they were replacing Feinstein, rather than Boxer, I’d be more excited.)

      • chacha1 Says:

        It’s a win for me over having a) a male candidate b) a Republican candidate. We are IMO at a point where any Democrat in Congress is better than any Republican, and I say that knowing full well there are decent and sincere Republicans who exist in the world. They just can’t operate to the advantage of the nation in Congress. And I am personally at a point of being so sick of men making principally-religion-based decisions that affect women’s healthcare, civil liberties, employment options, and domestic safety that any male candidate is going to be lower on my selection list than any female.

      • gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

        @chacha1, I understand your point, and I agree. But replacing Boxer with another female Democrat does nothing to improve the gender balance or political imbalance of the Senate. Replacing a male Republican would be more beneficial.

      • chacha1 Says:

        However, there was no male Republican candidate to replace. Can’t I just be happy about that? :-)

  3. Omdg Says:

    Sent my absentee ballot in this past weekend since I’m scheduled to work 6a til god knows when on Election Day.

  4. crazy grad mama Says:

    I voted! By mail, which I love doing because it saves time and gives me the chance to look up county and school board positions and remind myself of who’s running and what they actually do.

  5. Flavia Says:

    Yes, I have! Ohio, baby. Ohio!

  6. Steph Says:

    I sent my absentee ballot in a couple weeks ago, and I checked yesterday and got confirmation that it was received. Woohoo!

  7. J Liedl Says:

    I sent my absentee ballot in a few weeks back. It used to be a lot more difficult to do this when I started grad school in Canada back in the eighties!

  8. Name Under Development (NUD) Says:

    I voted early almost a month ago in Illinois. First time voting early, and last time I could do it in IL. I moved to another state almost 3 weeks ago and there was no way to establish residency fast enough to be eligible to vote here–too many hoops. Early voting was so easy- my only regret is that my new state is one of the battleground states. It would have been nice to have had the chance to make a difference in this election here,

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