Saturday, November 1, 2008

Down with early voting!

This early voting is really starting to get annoying. As much as possible election day should be an event where everyone comes out to vote together on a single day. Of course some people are unavoidably out of town and need to vote absentee, or are unable to make it to the polls. But having 20+% of the people casting their votes early, merely for convenience, distorts the election. Heck why not just let people vote anytime between the conventions and the election day. I'd much prefer a single campaign ending on a single date where anyone who is able to votes.

11 comments:

Boonie said...

Ummm, would the fact that the Dems are outvoting Repubs by 15% in the early voting have anything to do with your protest? I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with early voting, or to put it in other words, extended-period voting. What advantage is it to cram it all in one day? Extended period voting will almost certainly increase total voting, and for some people it can be significanly more convenient.

right-wing prof said...

Do you see anything wrong with voting months ahead of time, say right after the convention?

Boonie said...

There should be a reasonable amount of time left after nominating conventions for parties and candidates to campaign and spread their messages So no, voting months ahead of time right after the conventions serves no good purpose; democracy needs some time for discussion and debate. But a one- or two-week voting period sounds good to me. Anyone who is undecided can wait until the last day to vote. I really don't see a problem with it, and there are advantages.

Anonymous said...

If only all those people working two full time jobs a week had the flexible schedules of a university professor.... You know, if election day were on a weekend, or on some kind of holiday, I could see your point and agree with you, but when it's on a random week-day tuesday, that makes things a little difficult. I don't see the harm in it.

right-wing prof said...

I am ok with letting people with two full time jobs apply for absentee ballots, but this is not the point of early voting, it has become completely about convenience. I think it is unconstitutional since the constitution calls for an election "day". It also distorts the race when events happen close to election day and these events have much less effect in states where 30+% of the population voted weeks before. And, no boonie, this has nothing to do with who turns out early. Actually in the few states where I have seen numbers, the proportion of dems vs. republicans in the early voting has been identical to that of 2004.

Dave said...

Not that I really care about early voting (one way or the other), but I thought this was interesting. A postcard secret about how someone is stealing absentee votes in CA: http://postsecret.blogspot.com/

Check out the 5th or 6th postcard. They admit to stealing the absentee ballots that vote a specific way on prop 8. Course, stealing all those ballots steals their votes on local, state, and national ballots too. If you're not familiar with postsecret, I'd suggest you look around their site to learn more. Yes, it could be that this person is lying, but the fact that someone can think it, means that it can actually be done.

I sincerely hope that information of this happening gets to someone who can effect change in the absentee ballots. I voted absentee when I lived overseas for two elections. It OUTRAGES me that my votes may not have actually counted, if someone who works at the post office is mishandling votes.

THIS is a reason to not allow early voting and absentee ballots. Voting should be like serving jury duty. If you need a day away from work to perform a civic obligation by voting, then so be it. Have the voting volunteers provide notarized letters or something. In total, we're talking about a single day away from work at most. The fact that voices can be silenced by someone like this sickens me.

Anonymous said...

As soon as election day is made a national holiday where NO ONE has to work (except emergency workers like doctors/nurses -- they can do absentee or vote at the hospital) and there are enough polling places/machines/etc such that lines aren't more than an hour anywhere, then I'm happy with having the election on one day. Until that happens (which costs a LOT of money, by the way), we need early voting. Maybe it doesn't need to last a month, but at least a week of it is a good idea before those other issues are accounted for. I've waiting in line for 3 hours before and I've known people who have had to wait for 6 hours. When people have jobs to get to and kids to take care of, that is NOT a democratic way of running an election.

Dave said...

Dear anonymous,

Neither is silencing other's voices. In fact, I daresay that standing in line for hours is more democratic than having your voice silenced by an overzealous postal worker.

Anonymous said...

Isn't democracy aggravating?

dave said...

Its a helluva lot better than socialism... oh wait, we might get that too. It all depends on if Obama gets elected. I certainly hope he doesn't. I cast my ballot for McCain earlier today.

Dawg Doc said...

Most partisans vote their party preference anyway so I see no problem with early voting. Anything that encourages more people to get out and vote is fine in my book.

Requiring people to vote on a certain day is problematic, especially if that day is a weekday. Many people work a fair distance from their residence and the law only requires that workers be allowed two hours off to vote.

A better solution is to resort to all mail in voting and/or allowing voting to occur over two days such as a weekend. Most everyone has one weekend day off and polls could be kept open from 7am to 10pm on those days.