Early voting may not be major factor in Wisconsin elections this year. “In the presidential race just two years ago, early voting accounted for about one of every five votes cast in the state, and that was up a great deal from the previous presidential election,” said Barry Burden, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin. “In the midterm election we expect early voting to be at a lower rate than that, but in close races it could obviously make the difference.”
While Democrats here in Wisconsin and elsewhere have urged their supporters to take advantage of early voting, Burden suggests early voters appear to be much like the electorate at large. “In just raw demographics the early voters look like traditional Election Day voters,” Burden said. Wisconsin has had absentee voting for a long time, but it’s only been available without an excuse for about the last ten years.