3 States Be Voting by Tomorrow!

lajikal

Registered User
Aug 6, 2009
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Idaho, S.dakota, n N.carolina

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The November 6 election is still seven weeks away, but early, in-person voting begins in two states on Friday, even as Democrats and Republicans battle in court over controversial plans to limit such voting before Election Day.

Idaho and South Dakota are the first states to begin early voting on Friday, although North Carolina has been accepting absentee ballots by mail since September 6. By the end of September, 30 states will have begun either in-person or absentee voting, and eventually all the states will join in.

Much of the focus of the early voting period will be on the politically divided states of Ohio and Florida, which could be crucial in deciding the race between Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.

The states have also been the venues for court battles in which Democrats have accused Republican-led legislatures of trying to limit early voting periods in order to suppress turnout of working-class and minority voters.

Such voters make up large percentages of those casting ballots before Election Day, and they tend to back Democrats. Absentee ballots, popular among military voters, tend to favor Republicans.

The restrictions on early voting are among several election laws passed by Republican-led legislatures since 2010.

Other new laws, also challenged by Democrats and voting-rights groups, have been aimed at limiting voter registration and requiring voters to show photo IDs. Republicans say the laws are aimed at preventing voter fraud.

The push to limit early voting came after Obama's aggressive early voting campaign in 2008 helped propel him to victory over Republican Senator John McCain - and showed the power of the bloc of early voters.

Early voters are particularly coveted because once they cast their ballots, the candidates they support can turn their focus to attracting undecided voters.

Early voting accounted for a record 30 percent of all votes cast in the 2008 election. In Florida, more than half of the votes were cast before Election Day.

More than half of the African-Americans who cast ballots in Florida four years ago - 54 percent - voted early, nearly twice the rate of whites. In five of the state's 67 counties, at least two-thirds of blacks cast their ballots before Election Day, according to a Reuters analysis of state voter data.

"It's pretty powerful evidence that African-Americans have come to rely on early voting," said Daniel Smith, a political science professor at the University of Florida.

"The change in early voting is not yet finalized in Florida," he added, noting that several lawsuits were pending on the new laws.
Get your worthless vote in early so the other team doesn't go on the offensive.