Katie Couric's Notebook: Early Voting

The early bird gets the worm. But does it also win elections?

Democrats and Republicans hope so. Both parties say early voting data shows their supporters are flocking to the polls.

Opinion is mixed about the impact of early voting. It's supposed to make performing your civic duty more convenient. 32 states allow voters to cast their ballots ahead of Election Day. This year, at least 30 percent are expected to do so.

But a new study suggests early voting actually hurts turnout. Some candidates scale back their ground game as the pool of likely voters gets smaller. And those ubiquitous "I voted" stickers you see on Election Day? They are a gentle nudge to procrastinators. Fewer stickers could mean fewer voters.

For millions of Americans, Election 2010 is already over. Convenience is a good thing for people with busy lives. But more opportunities shouldn't mean more excuses for not voting at all.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.