Political Institutions

The number of votes cast for president by major political party.
The number of votes cast for president by major political party.  

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The Changing Trends in Early Voting
Published Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

No matter the lure of early voting — missing the long cold lines, evading exit polls, avoiding work conflicts — the once rarely used voting method has seen a surge in use during the 2008 presidential election. According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, in 2004 about 90% of all requested early voting ballots were returned. People who traditionally use absentee voting tend to be Students, Military and professionals traveling on business. Today, the trend leans to older voters who are strong partisans, certain of their vote. With greater access in many states to early voter information, campaigns canvass early voters first then later on marginal and undecided voters.

Approximately 39.7 million or 30% of all votes were cast prior to Election Day, November 4, 2008. This is a significant increase from 20% in 2004 and part of the upward trend experienced since 1992, when 7% of all votes were cast early.  The final tally of votes for President in 2008 have not yet been released because official state results are still being reported.

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U.S. Department of State: Political Parties - http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/election04/parties.htm
In spite of the Founders' intentions, the United States in 1800 became the first nation to develop parties organized on a national basis and to transfer executive power from one faction to another via an election.

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Federal Election Commission, Volunteer Activity - http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/volact.shtml
This brochure applies only to volunteer activity related to Federal elections. It explains how individuals may volunteer their services and certain goods to candidates for Federal office and to political party committees.