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Over one in nine citizens have already voted, Annenberg Survey shows

Over one out of every nine citizens report that they have already cast their ballots in the 2008 general election, the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey shows. Of citizens who have not yet voted, 22 percent report that they plan to cast their ballots before Election Day.

“Early voting was at a national all-time high in 2004,” said Kate Kenski, a senior analyst for the National Annenberg Election Survey and an assistant professor of communication at the University of Arizona. “The nation will break that record this year. Our data suggest that over 30 percent of ballots will have been cast before Election Day.”

“In 2004, 20 percent of voters said that they cast their ballots early, while 80 percent said that they voted on Election Day. In 2000, 14 percent of voters reported that they cast their ballots early, while 86 percent said that they voted on Election Day,” noted Kenski.

“Although voting at the polls on Election Day is still the most prevalent way that people cast ballots, more and more voters are making use of no-excuse absentee and early voting options,” said Kenski.

Data for this study were collected between October 14, 2008 and October 27, 2008 from 3,307 citizens in the United States. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 1.7 percentage points for the sample overall. For subsamples within the study, the margins of sample error are larger, depending on the sample sizes of the groups being analyzed.