We've long had early voting - by a few days, as I recall. And this wasn't something people were prompted to do.
From flickr.com/photos/14834045@N04/6306132745/: Voting
(Image by League of Women Voters of California) Details DMCA
In most 'democratic' countries, campaigning stops twenty-four hours before an election, and during the election, exit polls are not broadcast until very late in the day.
This year, for the first time, I believe, large numbers of people are voting weeks ahead of the election date, and what is most disturbing, is that the media is broadcasting the trends - so many democrats, so many republicans - even if they those votes have not yet been counted, and there could be any crossovers. I haven't seen anything about this on television and I presume the NYT has kept quiet about it, but it certainly doesn't look kosher to me.