Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Early Voting Is a Bad Idea

This year, most Americans can vote before Election Day on November 6 due to what is called permissive "early voting." Many Americans will vote for President even before the third presidential debate is held. This is a very bad trend. It undermines the important tradition of "Election Day." Voting by absentee ballot when you have a good reason, as our servicemen do, is OK. But otherwise, early voting should not be allowed. There are almost no meaningful safeguards against fraud in early voting. Voters can be intimidated by unions into voting early for Democratic candidates. Early voting even decreases overall voter turnout because it reduces public respect for Election Day. The more early voting that is allowed, the more liberal is the outcome.

There is a wide variety in how much early voting states allow. States that limit early voting, such as Missouri, Pennsylvania and New York, benefited from strong conservative gains in the 2010 elections. On the other hand, in states with widespread early voting, such as California, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon, liberals won by bigger margins than expected. Studies have found that allowing early voting can change the outcome of the election. One candidate described how he met a woman on the campaign trail who had voted early for his opponent. She declared, "Oh dear, I think I made a mistake."

Article II of the U.S.Constitution expressly requires that the Electoral College vote for President be on "the same [day] throughout the United States." That's a good model for all our elections. Our national election should observe the same rule. Early voting is not better even though some people find it convenient. Would anyone like to miss a plane or bus because it left earlier than its scheduled departure? Of course not. Likewise, unless there is a good reason, states should not allow early voting at the expense of our national tradition of Election Day.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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