[Content Disclosure: 0% Poker, 12% Politics, 45% Local Governmental Services, 67% A Good Idea]
This is the first (presidential) year I have lived in a jurisdiction that allows early voting. I currently vote in Clark County, which includes the first and third largest cities in Nevada (Las Vegas & Henderson; Reno is second). In 2004 just over 80% of registered voters went to the polls in the fall election cycle. Because of early voting almost half of those voters voted early. The rounded figures were: 10% absentee ballots, 40% election day votes, 50% early voting.
Here in Clark County there are eight permanent early voting facilities, most of them in shopping malls. They also have eight mobile teams that moved from site to site each day to set up voting areas at either the normal election day sites or in large grocery stores. It is simply too convenient not to early vote; unless you are still undecided, which actually means you should really not be off your medication.
The early voting here goes on through Friday. They take Saturday, Sunday and Monday to prepare for election day and then everyone gets their last chance, just like the rest of the country, next Tuesday. By comparison: in 2004 just over 271,000 early votes were cast in Clark County. The total on Monday of this week for 2008 was just over 250,000 with four days remaining in the early voting period. Looks like more voters will turn out in '08 than in '04 here, but isn't that expected just about everywhere this year. I mean what would you expect with What's His Name and Who JaMa CallIt running. OK, OK, one political rant per year.
Finally, I am now ready to give my election day prediction. I predict that when you all wake up on Wednesday morning and turn on the early morning talk shows, you will notice the complete lack of advertisements with one nasty asshole calling the other nasty asshole a lying whore. Ah, I will miss the political season; I do so like gilding golden rod and stepping on eternal cockroaches.
P.S. By the way, if you live in a state that does not have early voting, you do realize that a significant portion of your population has been disenfranchised by the more liberal voting laws in states with early voting. Shouldn't someone do something about this inequity? While the logical thing would be to allow early voting in all states, in fact, three lawsuits have been filed in federal court to prevent early voting in any state. We do so like to ban and prevent rather than enfranchise and accommodate.
P.S. #2: The early vote in Nevada (550,000+) was higher than the total vote in 2004.