Early Voting Forces Campaigns to Adjust

Third of country may cast ballots before Nov. 4
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2008 4:11 PM CDT
Voters fill out absentee ballots at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial polling place Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio.    (AP Photo/David Smith)
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(Newser) – Many Ohio residents have already cast their vote in the 2008 election, and they’re not alone. Early voting has become a huge and controversial phenomenon, the Washington Post reports, with 31 states allowing no-excuse absentee balloting. Experts predict a third of this year’s votes will be cast early. That’s forcing campaigns to change their strategies and, in states like Ohio, sparking legal challenges.

Both campaigns have been mobilizing their volunteers in Ohio, with Obama even running an ad targeting early voters. “As soon as the window opens, you have to move,” said one Clinton strategist; any other strategy is “antiquated.” But early voting has its downsides, most notably that mail-in ballots make it much easier for fraudsters to vote early and often.