Republicans face a steeper hill to climb on early balloting; strategists say their voters are more inclined, culturally and temperamentally, to come out on Election Day. But they say they are better prepared than in 2008. Since Sept, 25, more Republicans than Democrats have requested absentee ballots (51,990 to 41,007).
"Don't believe the Obama hype on early voting," said Kochel.
Kochel said his hope is that the presidential debates will provide some added energy to the early vote.
The most recent Des Moines Register poll shows Romney trailing Obama in Iowa 49-45 percent, with just 2 percent of voters undecided. It means that to win this state, he will need more early voters like Gina Francis.
Francis, 24, described herself as a registered Libertarian who said she knew she couldn't vote for Obama. She was on the fence about Romney, she said, until she saw his muscular performance in the debate Wednesday. On Thursday after work, she walked into the Board of Elections offices and filled out her ballot.
"He showed up," is the way Francis put it. "I liked the way he put himself out there."
It also means that the Obama camp will keep calling, e-mailing and knocking on doors until the last hour of the last day.
Unlike Reisetter, Tom Murphy doesn't mind the political clutter in his life. A full-time dad and bass player in a local band called Circular Revolution, Murphy, 49, said he gets between 10 and 15 e-mails a day asking for money or reminding him to vote. If it keeps people engaged, all the better.
"You can't get cynical," he said.