Early Voting Is a Big Problem
Millions of Americans cast their ballots multiple weeks before Election Day without all available information.
We are still more than six weeks away from Election Day, yet many states have already begun voting in earnest. Early voting has now become so common, even expected, that the very term “Election Day” may already be an anachronism. Welcome to Election Season.
It used to be that if registered voters knew they were not going to be able to vote on Election Day (traditionally the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in general elections), they could request an absentee ballot and submit it by a specified date, usually before or within days of the general election. Those days are history.
Early voting started becoming popular a few years ago when Democrats complained that showing up to vote on a specific day and possibly waiting in line for more than a few minutes was just too much work for poor and minority voters. Democrats thus pushed the idea that voting on a prescribed day, Election Day, was equivalent to disenfranchisement.
Looking out for the poor and minorities is the excuse Democrats have given for every unconstitutional move they have made to subvert the electoral process. Removing voter ID requirements, ranked choice voting, and the attempted federalization of the electoral process are all schemes Democrats have concocted on the backs of a segment of the population they seem to believe is too incompetent to figure out how to vote for themselves. And don’t forget bulk-mail balloting. Democrats don’t want to protect these voters as much as they want to ensure that they continue to vote Democrat no matter what.
Early voting became a hard reality during COVID, which Democrats and their media partners cleverly exploited to insist that people should be allowed to vote months before Election Day due to health concerns. Some of us knew then, and most of us know now, that there was no basis for this claim, but the damage has been done. In 2020, early voting was considered an emergency measure. In 2022 and beyond, it is simply how we do things, emergency or not.
Currently, 46 states and the District of Columbia have some form of pre-Election Day voting that goes beyond traditional absentee balloting. Early voting periods last anywhere from three to 50 days. The details change from state to state, as does the terminology. Some refer to it as “early voting,” while others use the oxymoronic “in-person absentee voting.”
The obvious problem with early voting is that once you have voted, you are stuck with your choice, no matter what developments transpire later in the campaign. Early voting is a serious commitment that only benefits political parties and their loyal supporters who would never even consider pulling the lever for another candidate. It also happens to benefit political parties whose candidates may be dodging late-breaking scandals, as was the case with Joe and Hunter Biden in 2020.
The campaign season always heats up in the six to eight weeks prior to a general election. This is in large part because the public’s attention can only be drawn and held in relatively short bursts. Additionally, most candidates don’t have the funds to carry on full-blown 24/7 campaign operations for more than a few weeks or months.
These factors have traditionally influenced news coverage of electoral campaigns, which ramps up significantly as the general election approaches. Candidates and their positions come into clearer focus with enhanced media coverage and public attention. More details are revealed, good and bad, which will ultimately sway undecided and independent voters, the blocs that tend to decide elections.
If voters cast their vote in August or September, they have no way of taking into account the information that comes to light about a candidate in those precious final days. Your candidate dies? Too bad, you’ve already voted. Your candidate looked like an idiot in a debate? Too bad, you’ve already voted. Your candidate was found to be corrupt? Too bad, so sad.
Despite what Democrats say, early voting does not live up to its promise. It does not save money, and we cannot determine with certainty that it boosts turnout. It does, however, increase the potential for fraud.
Voting is the most solemn of duties of the citizens of a republic. It is not meant to be easy. It is meant to be a deliberative and respected process. And it should not be up to political parties to decide how we do it.
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