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     It is estimated that approximately one-third of all ballots cast in the upcoming general election will NOT be cast on Election Day, November 4th, 2008. Instead, one-third of all voters will utilize their state’s Early Voting system.

    This election cycle has thirty states that offer an Early Voting system, in one form or another. To see what impact this may have on the election, one need only look at the dates that some of the states begin this process.

    In the battleground state of Virginia, Early Voting begins on Friday, September 19th, followed by Idaho on September 22nd, Missouri and South Dakota on September 23rd. (For the complete list, ).

    What makes this so important is the fact that the Republicans have experienced a major boost since the Republican Convention, and this will carryover to the Early Voting. Throughout the election cycle, a common note has been stated, in that Sen. Obama has yet to “close the deal” with the American public. Beginning September 19th, he may have lost any chance to do so. Unfortunately, we must still wait until November 4th to see John McCain acknowledge receiving Barack Obama’s concession phone call.

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     When Alaska’s Governor Sarah Palin stood before the Republican National Convention to accept their nomination for Vice President,she gave a speech that was meant to quash ANY thoughts that anyone had about WHO she is.

     In her speech, to answer the questions of her “experience”, Gov. Palin said that her role as the Mayor of a small town in Alaska was “much like that of a community organizer, except that as the Mayor she actually had actual responsibility”.

     This statement obviously ruffled the feathers of Sen. Obama, who was a community leader in Chicago’s South Side, and the sentiment was echoed by the likes of Whoopi Goldberg on “The View”. What was lost in the “translation” was the Gov. Palin was NOT disrepecting the role that community organizers play in our society. The point that I interpretted from her statement was that as the Mayor, and as the Governor, she had to play an executive role as the key decisionmaker on the implementation of policy. A community activist rallies the community for their causes, many beneficial to the community at large, but they are not making everyday management and policy decisions.

     In no way should anyone think that Governor Palin was diminishing the role of community organizers. Remember, her road to the Vice-Presidency began by volunteering with the PTA, thus she too began in a community activist role. And, we didn’t hear the Rev. Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson take offense to Gov. Palin’s remarks, did we?