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Early Voting Might Relieve Polling Pressure

POSTED: 03:33 PM ET, 10/27/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Early voting might be key in helping stave off potential polling problems on Election Day, according to panelists appearing this morning on The Diane Rehm Show.

Doug Chapin, the director of at the Pew Center on the States, said early voting numbers are "incredibly high" and Eliza Newlin Carney, contributing editor of the National Journal, said long lines have already prompted concerns from some election officials ahead of Nov. 4.

The Post's Mary Pat Flaherty appeared on the show, noting that long lines and other voting machine glitches have been spotted in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida, but that those high numbers have been welcomed by precincts.

"Election officials were hoping for 20, 25 percent turnout in early voting and they're hitting those numbers in a number of the big jurisdictions," Flaherty said. "So that could really relieve the pressure."

Flaherty has reported that the surge in voter registrations has caused election officials across the country to brace for long lines, machine malfunctions and confusion.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, whose office has tried with limited success to keep disagreements over election issues from ending up in court, also appeared on the show, saying that 25 percent of Ohio voters are using early voting, with an expected 80 percent voter turnout.

By Derek Kravitz |  October 27, 2008; 3:33 PM ET
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