Early and often.
My ballot arrived yesterday, but the last postal pickup had long gone by the time I got home from work. I'd already decided how to vote in most of the races before I received it. After I opened it up, I spent a little time figuring out who to vote for in the incumbent-free, four way, non-partisan Regional Transportation District race I get to vote in (it turned out to be a fairly easy choice after I looked into it), and reviewed the last few judges of the Colorado Court of Appeals facing retention elections that I hadn't decided on one more time. Then, I marked my choices. I mailed the ballot out today, twenty days before election day, and slightly resenting the fact that I had to pay 65 cents of postage to cast my vote, even though the money itself is trivial; the symbolism is just plain wrong. They banned poll taxes decades ago.
It feels appropriate to vote just a couple of days after I've done my tax return.
Neither the last Presidential debate, nor any October surprises, will change my vote now. No harried campaign staffers will have to try to make sure that I remember to vote. Most years, I would plan on taking election day off and getting out the vote myself. This year, still recovering from back surgery, I'll just get on the Internet after the polls close and watch the results come in. I'll probably make popcorn and drink beer. If the pollsters and pundits are right, the politically landscape will look pretty much the same as it was before the election on the day after the election. Some of the faces will change, but no dramatic shifts in political power have been predicted.
As food for thought, I will leave you with a link to an essay explaining why Voter ID laws really are a cynical political tactic of Republican campaign strategists to keep poor blacks from voting. The essay notes that rank and file Republicans honestly believe the concocted voter fraud stories used to justify these measures. But, people like Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler and other Republicans nationwide have tried (and failed) to sell to the public and judges in cases challenging the laws on the claim that this is a problem, mostly unsuccessfully, because the kind of fraud that voter ID laws purport to address is extremely rare. Waking up to that fact was a key step in transforming the author into a Democrat.