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Millions of Americans Vote Before Election Day

Mike O'Sullivan

November 5, 2012

Millions of Americans have already voted ahead of the U.S. presidential election taking place next Tuesday. A total of 32 states and the District of Columbia allow voters to cast ballots early, and others allow people to vote by mail or absentee ballot.

Nevada has had two weeks of early voting starting on October 20 and ending November 2. Nevada resident Loran Gibson says it was convenient. "I know friends that, if they didn't have early voting, they wouldn't be able to vote because they're working," said Gibson.

For weeks, campaigns have been getting out the vote around the country, aiming to persuade voters that the candidates embrace their concerns. Here in Nevada, the key issues vary from person to person. The big issue for most voters is jobs. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country, caused by downturns in tourism and construction.

The Obama administration points to job growth announced Friday, while the Romney campaign points to continuing high rates of unemployment, both here in Nevada and around the country.

Each campaign views the issue from its own perspective, says economist Jeffrey Waddoups of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Waddoups notes that President Obama enjoys an edge in voter surveys, but says there is no clear frontrunner in Nevada.

"It's not really a stalemate, but it's a battleground state and it's going to be really close," added Waddoups.

In much of the country, the contest began long before Election Day, but the votes will not be counted until after the polls close.

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