Thursday, September 8, 2016

On the States Early Voting System

"In 37 states and the District of Columbia, any qualified voter may cast a ballot in person during a specified period before Election Day. This includes Oregon, Washington, and Colorado -- which automatically mail ballots to all voters. In 2012, a little more than 31 percent of Americans cast their ballot before Election Day.
"Early voting now represents a good idea run amok. New laws that aimed to make casting a ballot easier and more convenient for busy voters have created Election Month. In some states, voters have six weeks to pull the lever. 'Campaign season' has become 'voting season.' Candidates' political operations may find these rules particularly convenient -- every vote you know you've turned out before Election Day is one less you have to worry about on a particular Tuesday in November -- but the trend will almost inevitably come back to bite voters. ...
"This year, the earliest of ballots will be cast before any of the three presidential debates or the vice-presidential debate. Suppose in the final debate, Hillary Clinton has a sudden mental breakdown and begins barking like a dog. (Again.) Or imagine that Donald Trump declares that he loves reading Hitler's speeches, or some other statement completely beyond the pale. Some voters would suddenly realize they had already cast a ballot for a candidate they cannot abide, and there is no way to un-do their decision." — Jim Geraghty