The Election is Over….

…Well, for absentee and early voters, it is. The New York Times has a nice story detailing early voting in America.

The article notes that:

Experts estimate that more than 20 percent of voters nationwide will cast their ballots before Election Day by mail or at early-voting locations, a proportion of the electorate that is rising with each election. Some states and counties open the ballots before Election Day and keep the results secret; others count them with regular ballots.

Analysts and party officials who study early voting trends say that a decade ago those who took advantage of absentee ballots tended to be relatively well off and highly educated, with Republicans outnumbering Democrats by almost two to one. But as the ease of early voting has spread, the ratio is slipping and some analysts say that nearly as many Democrats as Republicans now vote early.

Those who favor the practice say it is convenient for voters and increases turnout. Most elections officials welcome the trend because it reduces the strain on polling places and poll workers on Election Day.

But some experts say there is no proof that early voting increases turnout and may well have the opposite effect because some voters request absentee ballots and then neglect to send them in. They are also concerned that absentee ballots are more open to fraud than votes cast at established polling places.

The article also has interactive links to graphics about early voting nationally.