WASHINGTON (9/10/12)--Campaigns nationwide are ramping up their operations ahead of this year's official election day, Nov. 6, but Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins noted that early voting has already begun in some states.
Absentee ballots were issued in North Carolina on Friday. Ballots for 31 other states and the District of Columbia will be issued ahead of Nov. 6. Early voting is allowed as late as the Friday before Nov. 6 in some states. Early and absentee voters may submit their ballots through the mail, and, in some cases, may vote in person at an election official's office or other remote voting locations.
Early ballots are counted as soon as Sept. 21 in South Dakota, and the schedules of other states are staggered between late September and early November.
Approximately 30%, or 39.7 million of 2008's presidential election votes, were cast by early and absentee ballots, according to George Mason University's U.S. Elections Project statistics. George Mason Professor Michael McDonald predicted that absentee and early ballots could account for 35% of 2012's votes in a Friday Huffington Post blog post.
According to CUNA estimates, over 42% of all registered voters belong to a credit union. "If credit unions don't vote, we cannot expect our voice to be heard on Capitol Hill or in the state house," Hawkins said.
CUNA has provided information for voters and an online tool to help them determine where they can apply for early voting applications, on cuna.org. For the CUNA elections website, use the resource link.