photo credit: Politico

Who was early voter #219,802 Wednesday night? Come on, don’t be shy, sir or ma’am. Okay, you’re right, we may never know our hero’s name, but he or she marked an important, enthusiastic moment in state voting history, officially cranking early vote turnout ahead of the impressive state numbers from 2010’s (inaugural) early gubernatorial election phase, according to new data from the State Board of Elections. And the nation’s following admirable advance-voting suit.This news warms my damp political spirits, I must say. Recent wet, bad weather has only fueled our pre-election-day fervor. Wednesday, the day the East Coast woke up to real life again post-Sandy, 91,362 Marylanders visited the polls, the highest single-day tally for early voting to date. Nice comeback, Baltimore and beyond.

Yesterday big crowds continued throughout the state…

In keeping with Superstorm Sandy’s two-day shutdown of everything and everyone Northeastern, Governor O’Malley canceled early voting Monday and Tuesday but extended the option through Friday, adding extra hours.

Numerous U.S. states have embraced the early bird ballot in the last decade, and the option’s trending up. By Monday, more than 15 million Americans had voted early. By Thursday, more than 20 million citizens had cast their say (by mail or in person).

What does all this tell us beyond the fact that a significant number of people are interested in a highly contested election contest?

Well, good news in my personal ballot box: according to BloomburgBusinessweek, Democrats “are building a significant advantage” in key states Iowa and Nevada.

“Who has the edge is more muddled in the bigger swing states of Ohio and Florida, while Republicans have a narrow lead in Colorado,” explained John McCormick in the same BBW analysis piece.

This hammers home what we knew before, that the election’s a frighteningly close one.

Need more to go on? Of course, no votes will be counted until Tuesday, but several U.S. states have released specific voter party affiliations. Check them here courtesy of Politico/Associated Press.

Yeah, I know I’m probably preaching to the St. Fishbowl choir, but get out and vote early today or vote Tuesday. And if you have apathetic American friends — especially in other states — who might not bother to haul it to the polls, read this smart, personal (mass) email I just received from Marlon Marshall, Obama’s deputy field director…and talk to those red-white-and-bloated couch potatoes —

You should make sure everyone you know has a plan to vote, Betsy (we’re on a first name basis).

Five good reasons to reach out right now:

1. Studies have shown that people are far more likely to do something if they make a plan beforehand.

2. It will help us plan effectively about who to call and which doors to knock on November 6th. If you and your friends make a plan, we’ll know to focus our efforts on others who really need the extra encouragement.

3. We’ll send them a reminder about the plan they made to help them stick with it.

4. Their vote could be the reason President Obama wins a second term, and that’s good for all of us.

5. The ability to decide the future of our government and our country with our vote is the most important right and duty we have as Americans. You don’t leave something like that to chance.

So, are you ready? Make sure your friends and family — especially those living in battleground states — have a plan for when and where they’ll vote, too.

Connect with them on Facebook now:



Marlon Marshall
Deputy National Field Director
Obama for America

P.S. — Not on Facebook? Just make sure everyone you know has this link:

Dear Marlon,

Thanks — I’ll spread the word.

Your good friend in Baltimore,

B. Boyd