DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- The final push by politicians to win votes won't sway one large group of Iowans who can't change their vote.
Loras College associate professor of politics Chris Budzisz said, as of Nov. 1, more than 332,000 absentee ballots had been returned in Iowa. He said Iowa currently has 2.2 million eligible voters. That means that at least 15 percent of Iowa's eligible voters have voted early.
Dubuque residents Lois and Dick Nilles sent in their votes early. Mr. Nilles said he cast his vote and didn't look back.
"Never regretted who I voted for. If I backed 'em, I backed 'em," he said.
People who vote early, however, risk feeling voter regret.
"There is always the concern that if you vote, let's say, a month before the elections take place, that new information will come to light or that an event will take place - a debate or two debates might still be happening - and you realize the choice you made is not the one you think is best now," Budzisz said.
He said early voting is a growing trend on both the state and national level.
"About a third, slightly over a third in some elections, are coming in early now, and that's a trend you're seeing across the United States," Budzisz said.
He said early voting means convenience for political parties.
"Think of it as sort of depositing votes in the bank for the campaign or for the party," Budzisz said. "They try very hard to get people to early vote, because then they can count those people as votes in their column, or at least they consider them to be likely voters in their column."
Voting early also means convenience for voters.
"We don't even have to go out and we can vote, and we've already got our mind made up, and then we don't have to listen to that last-minute bickering," Mr. Nilles said.
Lois Nilles said by the time she votes early, the choice is clear.
"I try to think about it very carefully ahead of time and I haven't had any regrets about it," she said.
Online Reporter: Becca Habegger