11 Reasons You Should Be Voting Early In The 2018 Midterms

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Early voting is on fire this election season. People across the country have been showing up to exercise their democratic right ahead of schedule, getting their "I Voted" sticker a whole week early. If you're in one of 37 states with early voting, you can, too — sticker and all. If you're still not convinced, here's why you should vote early in the 2018 midterms.

Reports show that the early vote turnout is way up in several key states. Places like Georgia, Texas, and Florida have seen more voters cast their ballots a week out from Election Day than during the entire early vote in 2014 — and the trend could prove true across the nation. This potentially would raise voter participation to the highest levels for a midterm election year since the 1960s.

Interestingly, though, the ballots don't necessarily represent a blue wave — at least not yet. In Florida, more Republicans have voted early than Democrats. Though not a huge margin, it underlines the fact that the election has not been won yet by either side. Younger voters, in particular, are so far outnumbered by older voters. So, if you're thinking early voting might be for you — and your state gives you the option — read on and give it a shot.

Get It Over With

When you've sent off your ballot, or voted early in person, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you did your part.

Take Advantage Of Shorter Lines

There's no guarantee that there will be no lines when you go, but reports suggest that they tend to be short at most early voting locations — and if they're not, you can go back when it's convenient. On Election Day, you don't have a backup. Call ahead if you want to ensure little or no wait.

Life Happens

Politicians talk about making a plan to vote on Election Day. Statistically, that makes you more likely to follow through as a voter. Knowing where, when, and how you'll get there are all key.

But life still happens! In case you come down with the flu, a loved one is sick, or your car breaks down, make sure there's time for a Plan B. Voting early protects you from life's unfortunate possibilities.

Reduce Your Stress

Taking your mind off voting can reduce your stress level. Voting itself is a stressful experience, but having participated can be good for your mental health. If voting early by mail is an option, that's less stressful, too!

Because They Don't Want You To

If the personal benefits don't convince you, consider the act as a protest. Early voting has come under attack by politicians in recent years, and in some states hours, have been cut drastically. Your early vote shows why early voting matters for those who can't vote any other time.

Taylor Swift

Not only did Taylor Swift endorse a Democrat this campaign cycle, she loves early voting. "Something I wish I knew about when I was 18 and voting for the first time: ✨EARLY VOTING✨," she wrote on Instagram. "It makes it so quick and easy to go and cast your vote before November 6."

It Helps Your Favorite Candidate's Campaign

If you, like Swift, have a favorite candidate who is running for statewide office, odds are their staff are tracking whether or not you've voted. That's more work for them, because they're going to keep trying to mobilize you and get you to the polls. If you have voted, then you're one less person that they need to call on Election Day to motivate to heading to the polls.

Peace And Quiet

The second thing to consider about voting early is that the campaigns should stop calling and knocking on your door. You've already voted, so there's nothing more they can do.

Polling Places Are Tricky

There's lots of tools that make looking up your polling place really easy, but early voting sites in many states accept voters from a wider area. They might be easier for you to find, like in a county court house — especially if your old polling place has closed. Look up where the closest early voting location is here.

Voter ID Laws

Many voter ID laws are new — not just the North Dakota address requirement. So, just in case you don't have the right form of identification, go try and vote now so that you can get your paperwork resolved by Election Day if you need to.

Time For Volunteering

If you've already voted, you're free to go volunteer on Election Day. Whether it's for a candidate or a cause that you care about, you'll be able to make calls or knock on doors. You can be a nonpartisan poll worker, too.

The high early voting numbers point to an engaged electorate. If you vote now, you can more engage, too — or try and tune out until results are in Tuesday.