Early Voting Story (by: Meghan Sweeney)

Overall, I really enjoyed researching and writing my piece about early voting. Before I began researching this topic, I was largely unaware about how early voting worked and how it differed from state to state. Being from Minnesota, I voted absentee via mail and had to fill in why I would not be able to vote in-person on Election Day. I didn’t know before doing this piece that in many states, including Wisconsin,  people are able to vote early under a “no-excuse” policy, meaning they can vote early for whatever reason. Overall, I learned a great deal about the early voting process as well as the distinction between early voting and in-person absentee voting, which is the type of early voting Wisconsin uses.

I had the opportunity to talk with the city clerk who is directly involved with administering the election, as well as the chief inspector, which gave me insight into how early voting works.
One of my favorite parts of working on this piece was going to the city clerk’s office to interview voters as they left on the first day of early voting. I received a wide range of responses when I asked people if I could interview them. Some people seemed skeptical about answering my questions. I could almost see them running for the door as I approached them. However, other people were more than willing to talk to me and were happy to share their early voting experiences.
One of the most interesting discoveries is what early voting means for the future of  campaign strategies and spending, as opposed to why early voting has increased. After working on this piece, I am curious to see how early voting trends continue in future elections.

–Meghan Sweeney

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