Adding up the impact of early ballots

October 12, 2012

Early voting in Arizona for the November sixth election is underway. Some analysts wonder whether results of early balloting could limit turnout on Election Day.

From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Steve Goldstein reports.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: In the most recent Presidential Election year, 2008, nearly fifty-three percent of Arizona’s voters filled out early ballots. Paul Gronke, Director of the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College in Oregon, says voters and campaigns shouldn’t look at trends too early. He says there isn’t much to be gleaned this far from Election Day.

PAUL GRONKE: It’s too early for the early votes of the very early voters. It’s like the first person that comes to Thanksgiving Dinner. It’s like ‘we’re not ready yet, go home, come back again.’ I think campaigns do do that. Think of voting as this long list of names, and they’re trying to check your name off a list—what the campaigns call ‘bank the vote.’ They bank a certain amount of votes so they can refocus their efforts.

GOLDSTEIN: Gronke says more voters in the U.S. are choosing to vote by mail and the demographics became slightly less predictable in 2008. But he says Republicans still tend to use early ballots to a greater degree than Democrats. Steve Goldstein, KJZZ News, Phoenix.

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