Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Early Voting

We don't normally see people lining up in Iowa to vote early. This time around, Barack Obama's crew is holding "early voting" rallies Thursday morning, the first day Iowans can vote at their county auditor offices. I don't remember this happening in 2004. I haven't seen any indications John McCain's camp is planning on doing anything similar.

Today Iowa Sec of State Michael Mauro told us absentee ballot requests are down so far (nothing concrete really. Just anecdotal from talking with county auditors). But registered dems have requested more than three times as many absentee ballots as repubs.

Mauro is pushing for more Iowans to vote early. He predicts a crush of voters at the polls this November...perhaps, in light of heavy January caucus turnout, highly publicized presidential race, no incumbent prez/vice prez, unpopular current prez, war, bad economy, "change election" year. So Mauro wants to push early voting. He thinks absentees are already picking up quite a bit this month and will likely keep picking up. Satellite voting seems to have expanded. Wapello County Auditor Phyllis Dean told me she's setting up four satellite voting stations. She's never had any before. The Iowa Democratic Party petitioned for the satellites from her. From what I understand, you just need a petition of 100 people in a county to request a satellite voting station from an auditor (the time for this to happen has already passed).
After talking to auditors, it seems to me like the Dems/Obama campaign have asked for more of these than the Repubs/McCain. Perhaps, there's more of a targeted effort this year to go after voters, rather than a mass effort to blanket absentee potentials. At least that's what it feels like to me.


Anonymous said...

If they are pushing for early voting, does this mean they will start counting earlier? IA will never be a deciding state if the results come out 3 months after election day.

Anonymous said...

Something tells me Mauro can count just a little better than Chet, who kept the world waiting for ten freaking days.

Anonymous said...

they can't start counting early. they aren't allowed to.