Early Voting in the 2012 General Election
A growing number of voters don’t wait until Election Day to vote at their polling places. Twenty-one percent of respondents said they voted by mail in 2012, up from 19 percent in 2008, according to the 2012 Survey of the Performance of American Elections, conducted by Charles Stewart III, Kenan Sahin distinguished professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Combined with 18 percent who said they cast ballots at early-voting locations or via in-person absentee ballots at local election offices, nearly 4 in 10 of those surveyed said they cast ballots before Election Day. These trends continue the three-decade-long national shift toward early and mail voting.