Have you voted yet?

Yesterday I went out and voted at an early voting station in Baltimore. The lines were long and it took about an hour.  It was easy and now I am free to give my all to the GOTV effort in the coming week and especially on November 2.

I plan to head North to Philadelphia and lend a hand to the Sestak GOTV effort. I’ll do some GOTV in Maryland this week, but I find myself pretty confident that Governor Martin O’Malley is going to crush our former corruptionist Governor, Bob ‘the baby’ Ehrlich (the latest polls show an expanding 14 point lead).  The race in Pennsylvania is closer and so I will spend next Monday and Tuesday there.

I’m glad that early voting let’s me concentrate 100% on Election Day GOTV efforts and offers me the choice to leave Baltimore and lend a hand elsewhere.

If you are at all concerned about the outcome of the 2010 Election–and live in a State with early voting–I strongly encourage you to get it done and then focus your energy on the GOTV effort as well.

Early voting is now active in 29 States (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming), while another state, Virginia allows early absentee voting under under certain circumstances (follow the link if you live in the Old Dominion to see if you can make the cut).

Voting by mail is active in two states ( Oregon or Washington) and New Jersey allows voting by mail if you apply before the deadline.

A daily track of early voting can be found here.

There are lots of ways to get involved in getting voters to the polls. You can sign up to GOTV here, or here or here or just your contact a local GOTV effort and join in the fray.

We will be out spent, but we will not be out organized. Many elections couid come down to a handful of votes. A change in turnout levels by just 1% could turn the tide [Nate over at 538 is reporting tonight that if Democrats out preform the polls by 2-3% the predictions of a GOP wave could become just another failed bit of DC conventional wisdom–that would be a nice turn of events.]. If we’ve learned anything over the last decade it is the importance of each and every vote. Ask Al Franken or anybody who survived the Bush years with their memory still intact.



62 replies
  1. 1
    slag says:

    Good post. In all my canvassing, I keep telling people: Sooner is better than later. Get it done, and then you’ll be free to harangue others.

  2. 2

    To paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson: Hell yes, I voted, and I hope they burn in hell! (the GOP that is)

    ETA: though I don’t like those Diebold machines. No paper trail.

  3. 3
    stuckinred says:

    Athens is trying mightily to oust Paul Broun but I don’t think it’s going to happen. On the bright side Gwen O’Looney is well positioned to regain the mayorship!

  4. 4
    Dream On says:

    Sadly I do have a memory from the Bush years. Diebold.

    But hell yes I voted. So easy to do in Washington State.

  5. 5
    Karen says:

    Denge or anyone in Maryland or Montgomery County:

    Can I absentee vote early or do I have to do it on that day. I have a fax machine but no car and I can’t get to the bus because my RA makes it hard to walk. I can’t afford the $50 cab fare to get to the polls. So does anyone know if I can vote absentee or is it too late? And if I have to vote at the polls…if anyone can get me to them (I live in Aspen Hill (Silver Spring) I’ll gladly vote early.

  6. 6
    Lysana says:

    I haven’t sent my absentee ballot in yet, but I shall this week.

  7. 7
    Sharl says:

    Yep, voted in Prince George’s County MD today. Showed up a bit after 11am, and was surprised by how long the lines were. But the community grandmothers were taking care of business, and they moved us along efficiently.

    If the trend is general for Baltimore and PGC overall, Ehrlich is toast.

  8. 8
    Martin says:

    Haven’t voted yet. I stopped doing absentee when my polling place moved to the retirement home. They like visitors. I like visiting. I bring lots of pictures of my kids. It’s turned into a whole thing now.

  9. 9
    TooManyJens says:

    I voted last week. I love going to the polls on Election Day in a civics-class geekery sort of way, but it’s better this way. There’ll be one less person in line on Tuesday, and this way if I get hit by a bus or something I will still get counted.

    I’ll be doing GOTV canvassing this weekend. We just have to beat these fuckers. I really can’t accept the possibility of losing either house to them. There’s no way we’re really going to vote the people back in who got us into this mess, right? Right?


  10. 10
    Sharl says:

    @Karen: Aw shoot, Karen, today at 8pm was the deadline for receiving absentee ballots (link). There are options for late absentee voting, but they involve you physically going to the Board of Elections office, which obviously won’t work for you.

    I’d come up and drive you over to your polling site myself, except I’ll be 500 miles away on Election Day. Sometimes local party organizations, churches, and social orgs offer shuttle services to your local voting site. Would that be an option for you?

  11. 11
    Dennis G. says:

    That would be sweet. Give Gwen my best if you see her around town.

  12. 12
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    This Oregon small-i independent, my wife and our daughter already voted and it was straight D all the way. It will be a cold day in hell before we ever vote for a Republican again. My six siblings are all voting D in their states (WA, CA & ID) and they feel the same way.

    Fuck the Republibaggers. With a large assortment of very rusty garden implements.

  13. 13
    Alice Blue says:

    I’m a poll worker at my precinct, so I vote on election day. I’m there for 12+ hours and there are only 352 registered voters, so there’s a lot of down time.

    I’m really not looking forward to it this time. I live in a small town in Georgia, so there are going to be lots of gloating Republicans coming in to vote.

  14. 14
    henqiguai says:

    Have you voted yet ?

    Nope. Just got back in from a final candidates’ forum and, um, debate. Came away with one solid thought – those Republican candidates (State Reps and Senate) are dicks.

    And what’s with that Republican fetish for term limits ? We got term limits; they’re called elections. Those are the kind of venues that make clear to me the concept of wanting to punch someone in the throat…

  15. 15
    JGabriel says:

    I will be voting on election day, where my Democratic Senators, Representative, State Rep, and State Senator are all safe, and the Democratic candidate for Governor will also win, most likely by over 20 points. Welcome to Manhattan!

    Yes, it’s nice living in a Democratic stronghold, but sometimes I wish my vote could count just a little more.


  16. 16
    stuckinred says:

    @Dennis G.: Will do, we had a fundraiser for her up the street last week and she was in fine Gwen form!

  17. 17
    Left Coast Tom says:

    Voting by mail is active in two states ( Oregon or Washington) and New Jersey allows voting by mail if you apply before the deadline.

    Not sure what “voting by mail is active” means…I live in California and voted by mail (permanent absentee) last Friday.

  18. 18
    Dennis G. says:


    Call the Montgomery County Democratic Party at 301-946-1000 and let them know that you need a ride to the polls. I’m sure that they will get you there while Early Voting is underway. You could also call the O’Malley campaign at 410-630-1750. I’m sure they would be happy to help as well.

    Evey vote counts.


  19. 19
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I have in fact taken advantage of Utah’s early voting, on the first day it was available. And I have since been badgering people to vote!

  20. 20
    TooManyJens says:

    @Karen: You might want to contact the Montgomery County Democrats to see if they would arrange a ride to the polls for you.

    EDIT: Oh well, Dennis beat me to it.

  21. 21
    MattR says:

    @Martin: Not election related and it is from last year, but had you heard about the assisted living center than became the host family for a minor league baseball player? (cnn story or espn video)

  22. 22
    mak says:

    FWIW, Dennis, by choosing to help Sestak in or around Philly, I think you’ve pinpointed the single best use of your time in the region.

    As a Montcopa dem, I feel the trend has definitely been toward Sestak over the past month or so, but for the past week the Philly airwaves have been absolutely saturated with anti-Sestak dreck from Toomey, Rove, and who-knows-how-many other anonymous Citizens United (but Not Timid) groups. My fear is that the weaker willed among our unusually high number of undecided (aka, uninformed) voters will simply cave under the accumulated weight of Toomey BS.

    We’ve got a million more Dems in PA than GOTPs. If we can approach anything like 2008 turnout in Philly and the surrounding counties, we win.

  23. 23
    Dennis G. says:

    @Left Coast Tom:
    In most states you can vote absentee by mail, but it is an exception to the regular process. I think the difference in those Northwestern states is that all the voting (or most of it) is done by mail and other ways to vote are the exception. I’m not up to speed on how it works, but I think it seems to be an OK system.

  24. 24
    stuckinred says:

    “ATLANTA – An e-mail system initiated this year means service personnel and Georgians living abroad can request absentee ballots electronically and significantly reduce the chance that their votes will arrive too late to be counted.”


  25. 25
    WereBear says:

    @henqiguai: And what’s with that Republican fetish for term limits ?

    They see it as a way of kneecapping Democrats.

  26. 26
    Ron Beasley says:

    I voted as soon as I got my ballot here in Oregon because a few days after you turn it in the phone calls stop. For those of you who might not know Oregon is 100% vote by mail and we received our ballots a week ago last Saturday.

  27. 27
    Dennis G. says:

    Yes you’re right.

    That’s why spending time doing GOTV in PA seems like a good use of my time and I invite folks from other surrounding states where Dems are doing well to spend some time in old PA as well. I did my GOTV in 2008 around York for the General and in Philly during the Primary.

    It was well worth my time and I expect this will be too.


  28. 28
    beltane says:

    I voted today, straight ticket Dem of course. I’ve come to really enjoy early voting. It is more leisurely, and being in a very small town, I sat in an empty room in the town clerk’s office with my ballot and two youngest kids, explaining the whole process to them.

  29. 29
    Karen says:

    Thanks everyone for the advice! I’ll call them tomorrow and I will definitely vote early! I doubt O’Malley will lose but this is a crazy election so I won’t take anything for granted.

  30. 30
    Martin says:

    @MattR: Hadn’t seen it, but how cool! I’ve spent a LOT of time hanging around assisted living centers and hospices and whatnot and it’s really remarkable how much the place changes when there are young people around and how much the kids enjoy having folks with time to spend and stories to tell to them. There really should be more multigenerational living. It’d be good all around.

  31. 31
    Left Coast Tom says:

    @Dennis G.:
    All voting in OR is by mail. Not sure about WA. I like Oregon’s system.

    In CA any registered voter can register as permanent absentee…you do so once (your sample ballot, mailed prior to the deadline (which has passed), has the required form), then keep getting mail-in ballots so long as you don’t miss an election. To me, that gives me what I want from Oregon’s system (I get to vote by mail in every election, and candidates can’t pull last-minute stunts with any expectation of profiting from them).

  32. 32
    Martin says:


    They see it as a way of kneecapping Democrats.

    No they don’t. They see it as a way of kneecapping competence. If you actually govern, the voters will reward that. If you do nothing, there’s no cost to replace you.

  33. 33

    I voted last week. No line, but steady stream of people coming into the polling place. All of the bumper stickers on the cars outside the early voting polling place were liberal.


  34. 34
    valdivia says:

    Voting early on Friday & spending every free moment at OFA office calling different states. Will spend election day at OFA in NY helping coordinate GOTV in the area.

    I really do think that there will be a lot of races that will be surprises for people on election night.

    Funny, I am remembering now how 2 weeks ago the pundits were saying Paladino was going to win..good times!

  35. 35
    Tim Ferg says:

    I just did! 12 times.

  36. 36
    FoxinSocks says:

    I live in Maryland and had no idea we had early voting. How did I miss this? I don’t know how, but thanks for the heads up. Would love to do some GOTV, but I’m painfully shy and my previous efforts, including driving all the way to Ohio in 2004, have not gone particularly well.

  37. 37
    BD of MN says:

    MN also has absentee voting….


  38. 38
    jwb says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I don’t trust any of the electronic machines, and my darkest conspiracy theory is that this is the election they plan to go for the big steal.

  39. 39
    Tom Q says:

    @JGabriel: Same here. New Yorkers, for some reason way behind the curve in election reform, don’t have the option of voting early. And, if you live in Manhattan as I do (Jerry Nadler’s district), you’re lucky if one general election race is truly in doubt next Tuesday. (It seems to be state comptroller this time)

    As you say, it’s nice to live in an island of sanity, but oftentimes, like this year, I wish I were casting a vote for Sestak or Giannoulis or Bennet, so I could feel like I was tipping the balance.

  40. 40
    Yutsano says:

    @Left Coast Tom: My registered county in WA is all by mail, and from what I understand the vast majority of the counties are here now. I think the only holdouts are King, Pierce, and Whatcom, but don’t quote me on that.

    My ballot is sitting next to my bed waiting to be registered and sent back as we speak. But I’m gonna eat dinner first, plus kitteh wants attention.

  41. 41
    wag says:

    @Left Coast Tom:

    I did the same thing today in Colorado

  42. 42
    Benjamin Cisco (mobile) says:

    Voted earlier in the week. Bumper stickers gave me reason for cautious optimism.

  43. 43
    bystander says:

    Colorado has had a vote by mail option since before 2008. The numbers of mail in ballots has increased steadily and was significant in the ’08 general election. Colorado registered voters can request that ballots for all future elections be mailed to them. Unfortunately, the last day to make that request was today, I believe. Newly registered voters will be asked to submit ID with their mail in ballot if they have not voted in person at least once (as I understand it). Ballots distributed by mail, can then be returned by mail or dropped off at any early voting center.

  44. 44
    Left Coast Tom says:

    @BD of MN:
    Yes, but there’s a list of approved reasons on that page! I guess the term might be ‘no excuse absentee’…as I noted, _any_ registered voter in CA can vote by mail, even those of us who aren’t absent, ill, serving as an election judge, observing the religious tradition of ‘drinking lots of wine on the first Tuesday of November’, or snowed in.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:

    Early voting in LA is kind of a pain — there’s exactly one (1) place to do it and it’s waaaay down in Norwalk by the county line. So I schlep myself over to the polling place first thing in the morning.

    This year, I can ride my bike instead of walking! I will also bring a scarf to work on in line for superstitious reasons (in 2008, I knit while I was waiting in line to vote).

  46. 46
    Perfect Tommy says:

    I voted today in Jessup MD – I was the only voter there at 2:30PM.
    I was surprised by the number of ‘yard signs’ in and around the parking lot. Each parking space had cluster of signs in front of it.

  47. 47
    Geoduck says:

    Another WA state resident who approves of our vote-by-mail system. Workers don’t have to wrangle time off to stand in line for hours, no thuggish intimidation outside polling places (not that it was ever much of a problem here..) Plus, we get a complete voter’s guide pamphlet mailed to us, listing all the candidates and initiatives, pro and con. I was surprised to learn that all states don’t do that..

  48. 48
    JGabriel says:

    Tom Q:

    Same here. New Yorkers, for some reason way behind the curve in election reform, don’t have the option of voting early.

    Tom, you know we’ll get voting reform once the state passes the budget on time.


  49. 49
    David says:

    Yes, my wife and I have both mailed our WA ballots in. Mostly if not all D, but the choices in some races are a little more limited in Eastern Washington.

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    Have you voted yet ?

    good reminder about early voting. I realized that I have misplaced my sample ballot. I have to make sure I find it, since I made some notes about some of the typically crazy and confusing California ballot propositions. And I think I can arrange some time to do the early voting thing.

    For political junkies, I think I saw something about an update to the ABC News iPnone app that will include a Midterm election map and other voting information.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    lol says:

    I wish I had a Representative or Senator to vote for.

  53. 53
    pattonbt says:


    Colorado did this this year (with a minor little twist at the end) and I loved it (voted a couple of weeks ago – straight D ticket). It kind of sucks as a long term overseas resident that I can only vote at the Federal level (I really wanted to vote in the Governor’s race) but such is life.

  54. 54
    trollhattan says:

    Was going to say “yup, five times so far” but I see Tim Ferg, thinking larger, beat me to it. I think I wore a hole through the Jerry Brown oval. Yes Megs, fuck you and your 160 M very much. Karly, get better soon and take up golf, thanks.

    California’s perma-absentee system I like very much.

  55. 55
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I voted yesterday in Washington State, by mail.

    I am completely fed up with the Democrats right now, largely for being spineless and corrupt, but at the end of the day, I had to vote for Patty Murray, because she’s one of the better ones, and because Rossi is a Grade A asshole. He is truly one of the slimiest people I have ever met.

    But that’s it, I’m done. If the Dems want any money or canvassing, they can look somewhere else. If Rossi wasn’t so terrible, I would have probably voted for a more progressive party. Because I don’t vote according to 36 dimensional chess in re: electoral strategy. I vote according to how much I believe the person will actually uphold the values I uphold. Just because the Dems can’t stick to their principles doesn’t mean I should automatically give up mine.

    Our process is so muddied by process that I believe half the people on these boards and blogs don’t have the foggiest idea what they believe anymore. It’s just process and strategy, strategy and process, a giant masturbatory circle jerk where movement is mistaken for progress. The blogs may be significantly more accurate in the marshaling of facts than the mainstream media, but the action derived from those facts still all boils down to 2 years of whisker-scratchin’ until we all automatically pull the lever for Democrats right down the board because … Palin! Teatards! Angry White Men! Fear! Palin! Fear!

    We might as well have been debating the ingredients of Clorox for all the good it did. Every year it’s the same: Vote for Democrats no matter what they do, because Palin! Teatards! Fear! Murka!

    And we really wonder why Obama doesn’t give two shits what we believe in? He knows we will vote for him no matter what he does, because Palin! Teatards! Fear!, and so he blows us off and tries to get Republican votes.

    We’re suckers. Fill our heads full of day to day outrages, and we’re putty in his hands. Why stop DADT when all it takes to get us to vote for him is for us to watch Maddow and Keith for a couple years, and we’ll be so scared of Palin! Teatards! that Obama could ban gays from the country and we would still vote for him, because Palin would ban them even worse!!! Tea! Fear!

    I’m no big supporter or Fireblogwhazit, or DailyKos, although it may make you feel better to think so. Who am I? I am an independent that no longer supports the Democrats, because they don’t support me. You want my vote, you earn it. And I’m sure as shit not going to give you money or canvass for you. I’m heading out, I need a beer or 10.

  56. 56
    RalfW says:

    Minnesota allows early voting, more or less. It’s absentee voting, but you can do it at your City Hall or County offices, typically.

    The only requirement is that you will be out of the precinct on election day. No proof of out of town travel or whatever.

    So all you have to do is plan to to GOTV in another part of your region but be out of the precinct on Nov. 2. Tah dah! You’re done with voting early, you avoid the intimidating morons, and you can either GOTV, or maybe do some poll-watcher watching to keep the brownshirts in check.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    Early voting in LA is kind of a pain—there’s exactly one (1) place to do it and it’s waaaay down in Norwalk by the county line. So I schlep myself over to the polling place first thing in the morning.

    You used to be able to vote early at the downtown central library and a couple of other places. Did they stop doing that? I still haven’t found my voter pamphlet, but I thought there was some stuff there about voting options.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’ve looked all over the lavote.net website and can’t find a damned thing about early voting. If they’re offering it this year, they’ve hidden the information well.

  59. 59
    Noodlearmed UDFA previously 2liberal says:

    in arizona you can request an early voting ballot over the internets and the voting is done by mail. I have voted already.

  60. 60
    Texas Dem says:

    I voted this afternoon. Straight Dem except for a few Dem Dallas district and county court judges I just couldn’t vote for because I had some experience with them as an attorney and knew better. I suspect a lot of the gains the Dems have made here in the past two years, including our exceptional D.A., Craig Watkins, will be swept away because of low Dem turnout and very, very high GOP turnout. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Watkins but it doesn’t look good. And there are a few former GOP judges who switched parties and ran this year as Dems in order to secure re-election. Some of them may be lost too. Talk about bad timing.

  61. 61
    R-Jud says:

    I mailed my ballot in to IL last week. It was signed for Monday.

    Via Democrats Abroad UK, I did some GOTV with the small community of expat students at the University of Birmingham a few months back. Of the 10 kids I was able to get in touch with, 7 have let me know they mailed their ballots.

  62. 62
    themann1086 says:

    From a native Philadelphian, thanks for the help!

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