I voted last night. The Senior Center had a steady trickle of people coming in and out of the building. Some were there to take the class on how to Flash Mob, but most were there to vote. I live in a district where there are no competitive legislative elections. I’m in a packed region of base liberal Democrats. The major questions where my vote might matter are North Carolina Supreme Court, six constitutional questions and an affordable housing bond issue that recognizes that the best way to deal with a housing shortage is to build more housing.
Early voting helps campaigns. I am not a persuasion target. I might be a mobilization target for campaigns as I am new to the area and my Pennsylvania history of being an unusually young super-voter has not transferred over to North Carolina data banks. Demographically, I look like a potential mobilization target as I’m a recently registered Democrat with a short election history and my age indicates that I’m not a certain voter. If I show up, I’m likely to vote liberal but my profile suggests that showing up might be a problem. Campaigns will invest time, effort, energy and door knockers in getting their mobilization targets to the polls.
Early voting gives campaigns information to better target their marginal resources. Now that I’ve voted, there is no longer a reason for a campaign to target me. I can not be persuaded in any relevant manner and I can not be further mobilized for a vote. If you think that you are a potential mobilization target (check out the e-mails that you’ve gotten and the phone calls made by campaigns to you — if you have gotten called more than once, you’re a target), go vote early. Help the campaign by clearing their lists and giving them new information.
And if you think that Shelby County authorized shenanigans are likely on Election Day, vote early so that the polls won’t be as crowded. If you vote in a precinct that routinely can see an hour long line at peak times, voting early and removing yourself from the line chops off a few seconds of the wait.
Go vote early if possible even if all you are doing is shifting your vote’s timing. It helps.