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WISPOLITICS.COM REPORT: Both campaigns push early voting

By staff

It used to be that voting for president was a one-day event.

But no more.

Both the Obama and Romney campaigns are pushing supporters to vote early — in person at their local clerk’s office.

That’s because election experts now say energizing and turning out committed supporters early is a key to victory in a crucial swing state like Wisconsin.

Both the president and Michelle Obama, Joe and Jill Biden, President Clinton and various celebrities have been pushing the “vote early” message to Democrats statewide.

And top Republicans hit Waukesha County and other conservative voter-rich areas on a “Commit-to-Mitt Early Vote Bus Tour.” Young Republican star Marco Rubio of Florida followed up with a visit of his own to Waukesha on Oct. 25.

But early voting numbers may be down from 2008, when Obama won Wisconsin handily. That’s because the window for in-person voting has shrunk from three weeks to 12 days. Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy said he’s heard that opinion from local clerks but thinks early voting numbers will be on par with 2008.

He notes most of the early voting in 2008 also happened in the two weeks before the election, and that, if anything, the motivation to vote early has only increased.

“People vote absentee because they want to vote absentee,” Kennedy said.

He’s also sticking with his prediction that turnout will be around 3 million voters when all is said and done.

If you want to vote early, you have until Nov. 2, the Friday before the traditional election day.

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