Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Early Voting (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Though Election Day is still a couple of weeks away, you may have already heard friends and family say they've already voted. Thanks to early voting, which is already underway in many states, people can go cast their ballot today. Christina Silva at FiveThirtyEight offered a post today that explains early voting and differences by state, as well as analyses of early voting patterns (in terms of who votes early and its potential impact on outcome):
Well-organized campaigns do have opportunities to capitalize on early voting, however, and this year that could benefit Hillary Clinton, who has a stronger ground game than Donald Trump.

It "opens up more possibilities for voting, boosting turnout in the long run," said Mark Stephenson, the CEO of Red Oak Strategic, a political consulting firm in Arlington, Virginia. "But it also gives the campaign tacticians the opportunity to analyze and see what is happening over a longer period of time and be efficient with where spending is going as a result. Both, when done successfully by either party, can provide a real tactical and strategic advantage."

The Clinton campaign uses a variety of techniques for reaching out to early voters, including door knocks, phone calls, emails and text messages, said Lily Adams, a Clinton campaign spokeswoman.

"Hillary Clinton was in Iowa on the first day of early vote in person and suggested to all of the attendees of the rally that they go vote," Adams said. Similarly, President Obama held a rally for Clinton in Ohio just before early voting began in that state.

"The DNC is dominating early voting [outreach]" in Nevada, [Jon] Ralston said. And it seems to be paying off: So far, the proportion of Nevada early voters who are Democrats is higher than the proportion of registered voters who are Democrats, which suggests Clinton’s lead in the polls there may be mirrored in the results.
And in related news, the results of Channel One News OneVote 2016 (which gets America's youth involved in the political process by having them vote in a mock election) are in: Hillary Clinton was the winner. OneVote has accurately predicted the next president since 1992 - which coincidentally is when I participated in OneVote and voted for Bill Clinton.

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