At MoveOn, a liberal, online grass-roots organization that claims 330,000 members in California and 2 million nationwide, a planned effort to turn out an anti-recall absentee vote may be used as a template for next year's presidential election, said organizing director Zack Exley.
"We just think if we can get the absentee ballot request forms into people's hands, people will be more likely to vote," he said.
"When it comes down to election day it's just a fact that a lot of people aren't going to vote."
As the first votes are cast in the coming days, the groups that urged the absentee votes in the first place will monitor turnout with polls and follow-up calls.
Election officials can begin processing the ballots on Sept. 30, which is also the final day to request an absentee ballot, but no votes will be tallied until the polls close at 8 p.m. on election day.
Ballots may be returned via mail or in person at county registrar offices, but must be received by the close of the polls on election day to be counted.
A postcard request for an absentee ballot also is included in the sample ballots mailed to registered voters.