Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Early Voting A Mistake

The early voting circus that lasted for 35 days prior to Election Day in 2012 in Ohio was an embarrassment to our entire Nation. By the time the real Election Day arrived, a total of 1.9 million early votes had already been cast in Ohio, a key swing state. The seemingly endless early voting in Ohio did not boost voter turnout, as supporters pretend. Quite the contrary, the erosion of the integrity of Election Day made a mockery of voting, and turnout was lower in Ohio in the presidential election of 2012 than in 2004 and 2008. The Ohio legislature subsequently enacted sensible reforms to restore meaning to Election Day and end the spectacle of allowing political machines to herd people to vote early. The Ohio legislature mercifully ended “Golden Week,” during which people could both register to vote and then cast a ballot. The Ohio legislature also reduced the early voting period from 35 to 28 days, which is still longer than most other states.

Jurors are not allowed to vote early during trials, and are instead told to keep their minds open until the end. Voters have responsibilities just as great, and should not be casting ballots before the presidential debates are even held. In 2012, none of the presidential debates had yet occurred when the Ohio early voting period began. But Democrats see a big political advantage for their side with expansive early voting, and in late May they persuaded a federal court to order that Ohio reinstate its early voting period to allow voting in the presidential election to begin in early October. There is no constitutional right to early voting, and there is no entitlement for people to vote before the campaigns are over. Restoring Election Day to its national and historic significance would yield better results for our Nation.

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