The 2008 early vote proved beneficial to progressives, with self-identified Democrats making up a disproportionate share of the early vote. Barack Obama’s success in engaging the Democratic base and, in particular, targeting early voters was especially evident in the fact that, though 80% of first-time early voters in 2008 had voted at a polling place on previous Election Days, nearly half of the same group had never taken advantage of early voting in any of the previous four federal elections. Certain demographics were more likely to benefit from early voting - for example, urban and African-American voters constituted a larger share of the early vote than the non-early vote, presumably to avoid notoriously long lines that are pervasive in predominantly urban and/or African-American districts on Election Day or to take advantage of the flexibility inherent in early voting by casting a ballot when their work/family schedule permits.
This detailed 50-state scorecard from Rock The Vote ranks evaluated state voting laws with an on a 21-point scale that aims to assess how well states are serving young voters in three categories: voter registration, ease of casting a ballot, and encouraging young voter participation.
As dozens of publicly traded companies consider shareholder resolutions to increase corporate accountability around political spending, one, in particular, is helping to lead the way. News Corporation, the media company owned by Rupert Murdoch whose holdings including Fox Broadcasting Company, recently announced that it will voluntarily disclose its political contributions on its website once a year. Additionally, all corporate political contributions must be pre-approved by News Corp’s Executive Vice President for Government Affairs. Though News Corp’s new policy is not perfect, it is an encouraging step forward for concerned citizens who want their voices heard.