My parents just got back from voting. Good for them. It's not that they wouldn't have voted anyway, but if the general idea is to get more people to participate in the process, allowing for people to vote before election day is crucial to higher turnout. Not only does it ease the process for people for whom it would be difficult to make it to the polls on November 4, it also ensures that lines will be shorter on election day and fewer people will be scared away by an impossibly long wait.
They say the whole thing was kind of anti-climactic.
With her vote, my mother has determined herself to become more involved from this point onward. They took food to one of the local Obama headquarters, and now there's an Obama sign in the front lawn. This is a nice step forward for her. It sort of signals that she, a long time and avid supporter of John Edwards (who insisted two weeks after the sex scandal broke that Edwards was still the most electable Democrat), is beginning to come around in her support for Obama.
I guess this is what unity looks like.