In a Primary season dominated by constant changes in the candidate line-up it is seriously flawed to have early voting. While activists may make the claim that early voting is one way to deal with voter suppression it is undeniable that there is something flawed about a populace that votes a month before the election date. In such a scenario you have citizens wasting their vote on individuals who are no longer candidates, like Marco Rubio, or Jeb Bush, or even Chris Christie. In addition, early voting hurts the chances of lesser known candidates even when they might be making some provocative suggestions because lesser known candidates need every last minute bit of media coverage, including local newspaper coverage, local debates and town halls, and reactions to the events of the day. Candidates, even better known ones, get covered in such nonsense that it takes as much actual coverage as possible to pry the bullshit from the real regarding each candidate.
A case in point is Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC speech just the other day which was full of bluster and saber rattling. It is possible that some of the people that were buying the long standing façade of her foreign policy expertise might have come to realize that expertise does not replace sound judgment. Someone who is done something a long time is not necessarily good in his or her job. It’s just an indication, not necessarily a resume truism. Or the bit about Hillary’s support of the civil rights movement during the 60’s as vouched for by a civil rights icon, a period of time that she was a Goldwater Girl, Goldwater being one of the leading bigots of his day.
What we have to do to combat voter suppression is obvious – make Election Day both Federal and State, paid holidays, it should be a day focusing on our patriotism and has more of a right to be a holiday than most of the holidays we do celebrate. We need to combat Voter Suppression laws in Federal Court and to publicize those efforts. And if states are financially tapped to keep voting locations open we should have a fund to help bail them out.
Consider some of these events that happened just prior to Election Day:
“We should listen to what cautionary voices are telling us before we redefine ourselves as a nation of convenience voters and abandon one of the only remaining occasions on which Americans come together as a nation to perform a collective civic duty. The notion of Election Day isn’t just a tradition; it’s in the Constitution. Article II, Section 1 states that “Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.” Congress codified this requirement in 1872 by setting a uniform presidential election date. But in a rare bow to the notion of federalism, today’s courts have nonetheless been reluctant to invalidate state laws that go against this dictate. In 2002, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld Oregon’s vote-by-mail law because of “a long history of congressional tolerance” toward absentee voting. It rejected arguments from the Voting Integrity Project that Oregon’s effective end to voting in person represented “the difference between the exception to the rule and the exception that swallows the rule.”
“Gans and other observers are also concerned that early voters won’t have the same information as those who vote on Election Day. They may miss out on candidate debates or be unable to factor in other late-developing election events. “Those who vote a month in advance are saying they don’t care about weighing all the facts,” says Adams, the former Justice Department official. “One secretary of state I interviewed compared early voting that takes place before debates are finished with jurors in a trial who stand up in the middle of testimony and say they’ve heard enough and are ready to render a verdict. Consider, for instance, that Ross Perot suffered his meltdown on 60 Minutes, in which he accused Republicans of disrupting his daughter’s wedding, only nine days before the 1992 Election Day. That same year, only four days before Election Day, Caspar Weinberger and other figures in the Iran-Contra scandal who were close to President George H. W. Bush were indicted. The John Huang campaign-fundraising scandal accelerated in the days just prior to the 1996 election; and, according to Bill Clinton, it cost his party control of the House that year. In the incredibly close 2000 election, Al Gore had a last-minute surge in support, fueled in part by negative reaction to George W. Bush’s 1976 DUI arrest, which hit the media five days before Election Day. Karl Rove says the incident cost his boss the popular vote and at least one state. Luckily for Bush, many voters had already voted, locking in their preference before the DUI story came to their attention. There was no way they could change their vote.” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/390669/trouble-early-voting-john-fund
I know it is not fashionable on the left to be anti early voting. And I suspect my fellow progressives would disagree, but please consider this also from the same article:
“How is early voting changing our campaigns? They are increasing their costs and difficulty. Steve Schale, a Democratic strategist and adviser to gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, says of early voting: “Clearly it changes the whole way we campaign. It used to be you would build a whole campaign around Election Day.” Richard Smolka, an American University academic who published a newsletter for election officials for 40 years until his death last year, mourned the fact that early voting had made campaigns more costly and more complicated. Smolka cogently identified one of the main reasons so many state legislatures have approved early voting: “It’s incumbency protection,” he said. “It takes more money and more organization to deal with a longer voting period. It exacerbates their advantages.” Such concerns are echoed by Christian Adams, a former Justice Department official. “Incumbents and Washington insiders love early voting because they already have the money and staff to monitor the integrity of the voting process,” he told the Washington Times. “They know that challengers and local candidates can’t afford it.” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/390669/trouble-early-voting-john-fund