30 September, 2008

Vote early, vote often

Well... at least early. I just wanted to put a plug in for the Obama campaign's nifty application, VoteForChange.com, that allows you to quickly find out if you're currently registered to vote, and if so, where. It also gives you step-by-step instructions based on your circumstances: how to register, who to call about getting an absentee ballot, etc. I know that tracking down electoral information can be frustrating and time consuming (don't get me started on the evils of state-by-state electoral laws...) but Vote for Change puts it all in one place. So put your information in, and make sure you're ready to go on November 4th!

Or even earlier. Early voting is gaining traction in states that allow it, and I want to plug that, too. Much like absentee voting, people are coming to prefer it more and more because it allows them to vote according to their convenience within a certain window, rather than wait in line on election day or trying to make it to the polls after a long day at work (and don't get me started about the evils of holding elections on work days...) The Obama application will also give you information about how, when, and where you can vote early in your state.

For anyone who has made up their minds -- especially my compatriots in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania or other swing states -- I highly recommend that you vote early. Besides making it easier on you, it is also extremely helpful for campaigns that are trying to allocate their resources most efficiently. The more people that vote before November 4th, the fewer people the campaign has to worry about contacting, persuading, and getting to the polls on election day, and the better they can do GOTV. If one-third of voters vote early this year (as some are projecting) that's a huge amount of people that a campaign doesn't have to worry about, making its outreach to the remaining two-thirds that much more targeted and effective. In a state like Wisconsin, which could be close, that advantage in the ground game could mean as much as 1-2 extra points for your side.

I think most of you are pretty set on Obama. Go git er done early for the team, and bring along your friends, classmates, and coworkers.

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