Early in-person voting in Wisconsin began today. About 75 people were lined up outside the city of Madison Clerk’s Office before it opened at 8AM and about 50 outside of the Green Bay City Clerk’s Office. Early voting has become more popular over the last three presidential elections. In 2008, 30% of all votes cast were from early voters, including one out of every five voters in Wisconsin.
The campaigns of both Obama and Romney were crisscrossing the state over the weekend and on Monday to encourage people to vote early. The in-person early voting period ends on November 2, the Friday before the election.
In 2004, 22% of Americans voted early and that rate rose to more than 30% in 2008, according to Paul Gronke, professor of Political Science who founded and runs the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College in Oregon. Gronke estimates that as much as 40% of eligible voters will cast an early ballot during the 2012 election.
Why is early voting becoming so popular? The major reason is it’s convenience. Anything could happen during a voter’s personal life on November 6; early voting gives people 40 more chances to cast their ballot for the election instead of only one day.