Early voting = expensive campaignsColumns

Long lines on Election Day has brought out the dumb ideas again. Remember, the Government that had 3 hour lines at the polls is the same government that will be running your health care.

The latest idiom of idiocy is the call for people to vote early and make Election Day the day of the lazy and indecisive.

Three really big reasons why early voting is a horrible idea.

Early Voting makes campaigns more expensive – Had enough of political ads? Guess what. Early voting guarantees you will get more. Those down-ballot campaigns for Mayor and City Council or even Congress who save the bulk of their campaign advertising for the end of October?

Forget that? Advertising will have to begin before “early voting” starts. How does a candidate who can’t afford 10 weeks of TV ads have a prayer of winning?

Early voting is incumbent protection at its worst.

Early Voting is your final answer - You vote early, and then some scandal breaks, or a big debate happens, and you suddenly think “There’s no way I can support this guy.” Too late! You already voted! There’s no “do over.” Early voting basically says that debates shouldn’t matter, and campaigns shouldn’t matter, and endorsements shouldn’t matter. Voting should happen first, and that’s completely backwards.

Early voting won’t solve the problem - Florida has early voting. Florida had long lines. Their solution being talked about is to make the early voting time period longer.

Early voting just leads to calls for earlier voting and when Election Day comes along, there are still long lines. Bottom line – Government isn’t very efficient. Early voting hasn’t solved that yet.

I don’t mind absentee voting for people who legitimately can’t vote on Election Day. But early voting in mass numbers has too many negative impacts for the fleeting hope that inefficient polling stations will work better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andydschwartz Andrew Schwartz

    Excellent! We complain about waiting 2 hours to vote while people in other countries complain about never getting to vote…

  • MD Russ

    Good post, BK. Another point about early voting: it takes a toll on the poll officials. One of the first take-aways that we have in Fairfax County is that the lines were so long on Election Day because of a shortage of poll workers. Many who normally would have worked on Election Day had worked numerous shifts in the weeks before running the early voting for people unable to vote on Election Day.

    BTW, another fix would be to have Election Day on Sunday or make Election Day a public holiday. That is how it is done in Europe and it allows the voters to get to the polls anytime during the day instead of forming long lines before and after work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BrianSFairfax Brian W. Schoeneman

    It is also prohibitively expensive to run if there’s no real increase in turnout. Turnout simply doesn’t increase in any truly meaningful way, and given that fact, it makes little sense to spend the extra taxpayer money on early voting. The money would be better spent increasing infrastructure on election day.

  • Luke Mahoney

    3 good points Kirwin