Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, December 10, 2012

Barack Obama Won by Early Voting

When President Obama cast his ballot more than a week before Election Day, he did something no other President had ever done: he voted early. He did it to encourage many of his supporters to vote early also, which they did. Nearly half of Americans voted before Election Day this year. That was a record. This changed the way presidential campaigns are conducted and had a big influence on the final outcome. By the time Election Day arrived, many Americans felt that their vote no longer counted as much on Election Day as it once did.

In the key swing state of Ohio, campaigning in the weeks prior to Election Day by the two candidates did not focus as much on their differences in political positions as it did when candidates used "boots on the ground" to get out the vote. Democrats overwhelmed Republicans with early voting, giving Obama a vast lead before Election Day even arrived. The Ohio legislature sensibly tried to limit this early voting, but a federal court tossed out that particular Ohio law. This judicial activism was contrary to the authority of the States to establish the time and manner of voting except as prescribed by federal law, and federal law does not require any early voting. When this case was appealed, the Supreme Court ducked this issue and declined to correct this judicial activism, thereby making sure that early voting continued through the weekend in Ohio.

A Generation ago, Election Day was respected by Americans almost as much as the 4th of July, and this tradition caused high voter turnout by our citizens. But early voting has denigrated this tradition in many states, to the harm of our political system. One important lesson we can learn from the recent election is that States with early voting should repeal it so that the tradition of the importance of Election Day may be restored.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

7 comments:

Steve W said...

There are a few things here that need to be clarified, the biggest is on the court decision regarding early voting. Your statement that


The Ohio legislature sensibly tried to limit this early voting, but a federal court tossed out that particular Ohio law. This judicial activism was contrary to the authority of the States to establish the time and manner of voting except as prescribed by federal law, and federal law does not require any early voting.


Is not factually correct. The state of Ohio attempted to limit in-person early voting the weekend before the election to only members of the military. The court found that to be discriminatory, and that if there was to be early voting, it was to be open to all.

I'm sure that you have no problem with ALL people being given an equal and level opportunity to vote, since that is the core of our electoral process.

Steve

Roger said...

Steve, you did not find a factual error. I guess you agree with the court's intervention into the election, but the above commentary does not. Ohio was giving all citizens an opportunity to vote.

Unknown said...

How is it harmfull to allow easier access to voting? In this economy many people simply cannot afford to take time off from work or postpone business trips in order to vote, but with early voting their democratic rights are preserved.

I see no arguments proposed in this article other than the fact that early voting benefits democrats. So the problem proposed here is that the wrong people are voting? The founding fathers would roll over in their graves at that sentiment!

And boo on your "a generation ago" sentiment. A generation ago asbestos was considered a wonderful material for insulating your home and the mere idea of a half-black president would have been cause for fainting spells.

Anonymous said...

Roger -- go back to the court case and you will see that Steve is in fact correct. The right wing extremist which are killing the conservative movement and are the ones that have been not telling all the facts. Fox News is not our friend.

In addition if you look at how the OHIO board of election was leaning for early voting it was not even handed. So called republicans were willing to extend hours only in republican leaning counties -

Amii Lockhart said...

It was indeed factual since federal law makes discrimination illegal. So, Ohio leg factually attempted to thwart the law by discriminating against it's citizenry. If Ohio wants to allow for early voting, it has to allow the same kind of early voting rules to all it's citizens.

Also, a vote is a vote. Each citizen gets one. Cast it on any day through voting day, and it still only accounts for one vote.

cfcbe24c-43f4-11e2-8daf-000bcdca4d7a said...

When election day is declared a national holiday so people can afford to vote and not be penalized by their employers or forced to lose pay, then you can end early voting. Until then, early voting must stay. As for the comment re: people thinking their vote no longer mattered, the same has been said re: exit polls and the time difference from the east coast to the west. If that is a possibility, then should be end all news coverage of the election until the following day?

Jimbo said...

Roger, Steve is right. Also, curbing early voting is transparently an effort to limit voting participation to help the GOP, as Florida GOP leadership has admitted. Voting laws should remain non-partisan.

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