Though we are all focusing on November 8 as the end of this horrid election, the truth is that we are smack dab in the middle of election day even as we speak. That’s because people are voting in droves using absentee ballots and early voting stations.

As of today, a whopping 22 million registered voters have cast their ballot already – around 12% of the nation’s 200 million registered voters. These high numbers of early voters might explain why we are seeing long lines at early voting locations across the nation.

With this fact front-and-center, it’s time that we realize that we aren’t just trying to convince voters to choose one candidate or another by the November deadline – for many, their decision is already made and set in stone.

This really only affects these last-minute scandals like the supposed new email discovery made by FBI director James Comey on Friday.

An undecided voter might have heard that misleading announcement and made up their mind right then to vote Trump – just to find out hours later that the new scandal was a whole bunch of nothing. But that doesn’t matter for that one vote that was cast in haste.

That’s not to say that allowing early voting is a bad thing. In fact, making voting more accessible to people for a longer period of time is nothing but positive for Democracy. It merely means that campaigns and invested parties should be extremely careful about what optics they allow their campaigns to release – knowing that people can be voting at anytime – not just a week from now – campaigns must work constantly to keep voters well informed.

If you haven’t voted yet, and would like to do so, you can find your early voting location at Vote.Org.

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at