A Vote for Election Day
I suspect most voters watching Monday night's debate found it pretty boring. President Obama wanted to force
But what if something did? What if Obama announced in a fit of pique that "America doesn't deserve a president as awesome as me"? Or what if Romney pulled open a panel in his chest revealing that he is, in fact, an android? And he was made in
Or the game-changer could have been something more plausible. The point is, what if something was said or done that caused large numbers of voters to change their minds? Well, for perhaps millions of voters it would be too late, thanks to early voting.
Fifteen percent of the electorate was eligible to vote before the first presidential debate -- a debate that did dramatically change the dynamic of this race. And 85 percent of voters were eligible to vote before Monday night's debate. This year, it's expected that something like 40 percent of ballots will be cast before
Now, odds are that most of the people who voted already wouldn't have changed their minds, no matter what happened. Early-voting expert and
This is ironic, given that the aim of most election reformers (essentially the same folks who have made early voting legal in 32 states and the
Early voting, on the other hand, encourages campaigns to preach to the choir. Normally, it's Republicans who excel at this. But this year, President Obama has taken the lead. His "war on women" malarkey, his Big Bird and "binders" rhetoric -- not to mention
I think mandatory voting is an abomination, and I don't lose any sleep over the influence partisans have on U.S. elections. But early voting still strikes me as a terrible idea.
Everyone laments the decline in civic commitment in America. "Government is the word we use for the things we all do together," is a common refrain from liberal reformers in particular. Well,
Has the convenience yielded a "better" electorate? It doesn't seem like it. Has early voting led to increased turnout? Only in very low-turnout local elections, according to
There are lots of reasons to have a single, solitary
But it seems to me the most important reason is that democracy's legitimacy rests in no small part on the idea that the people are making a collective decision once all the campaigning is done. Having all of the voters working with the same information and letting the candidates make their case to the whole country in the same time frame seems essential to that idea.
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A Vote for Election Day | Politics
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