Is Early Voting A Bad Idea?

Early voting is a still new idea in the United States, but one that has quickly spread to a majority of states. But, is it a good idea?

CT-VOICES-AJ-3-0825.jpg_CTBroadsheet_08-25-2014_ALL_HD_0C71OVQF

In most states in the United States, it’s now possible to engage in some form of early voting prior to the actual General Election on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, the date set aside by the Constitution for Federal Elections. A majority of states, thirty-three by my count, now allow some form of in-person early voting in the weeks prior to the election. The mechanics and timing of such early voting varies from state to state, of course, and has been subject to changes by state legislatures that, in cases such as that of Ohio, have led to litigation in Federal Courts alleging that the changes have a disproportionate impact on certain voting groups. In addition to early voting, some twenty-seven states, including many of the early voting states, allow voters to cast an absentee ballot without having to provide an excuse of any kind, while another twenty require voters to provide an excuse (i.e,, age, illness, need to care for a loved one, work commitments, presence outside the state on Election Day, etc) in order to vote absentee. Additionally, three states, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, have a large vote by mail program that doesn’t require any voter to show up to a polling place at all.

When most people think of early voting, though, they are thinking of the relatively new phenomenon of people being able to cast ballots in person before Election Day. In some states, there are multiple locations in a given jurisdiction where voters can go to vote during the early voting period, while others require voters to go to the office that supervises elections for their jurisdiction to cast an early ballot. For Americans who live in states where this is permitted, it appears to be quite popular even though it’s unclear just how much early voting increases overall voter turnout. There are some naysayers, though, and one of them is  John Fund at National Review who argues that early voting is harmful, largely because it allows people to vote before they have all available information:

In Florida, a third of the electorate will vote by mail, a third will vote early by going to a voting center, and a third will cast their ballots on Election Day. Nationwide, some 2 million people have already voted, even though scheduled debates haven’t even finished in many states. We are seeing an early-voting craze: In 35 states, people can vote early without having to give an excuse for missing Election Day. That’s up from 20 states just over a decade ago. Half the states also allow no-excuse absentee-ballot voting by mail. Oregon, Washington, and Colorado have abolished the traditional polling place; in those states almost everyone votes by mail.

“In reality, the days of an actual election ‘day’ are long gone,” Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida and director of the United States Election Project, told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a solid election month, if not more in some places, and will continue to expand.”

There’s no doubt that many people in our increasingly mobile and hectic society want voting to be as easy and convenient as buying fast food. But too much of anything can be bad — just ask someone who has gorged on drive-thru burgers and fries. A new poll by the Huffington Post, conducted by YouGov, found that nearly half of adults say they vote before Election Day at least sometimes, and a third say they do it often. We should listen to what cautionary voices are telling us before we redefine ourselves as a nation of convenience voters and abandon one of the only remaining occasions on which Americans come together as a nation to perform a collective civic duty.

The notion of Election Day isn’t just a tradition; it’s in the Constitution. Article II, Section 1 states that “Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.” Congress codified this requirement in 1872 by setting a uniform presidential election date. But in a rare bow to the notion of federalism, today’s courts have nonetheless been reluctant to invalidate state laws that go against this dictate. In 2002, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld Oregon’s vote-by-mail law because of “a long history of congressional tolerance” toward absentee voting. It rejected arguments from the Voting Integrity Project that Oregon’s effective end to voting in person represented “the difference between the exception to the rule and the exception that swallows the rule.”

(…)

Gans and other observers are also concerned that early voters won’t have the same information as those who vote on Election Day. They may miss out on candidate debates or be unable to factor in other late-developing election events. “Those who vote a month in advance are saying they don’t care about weighing all the facts,” says Adams, the former Justice Department official. One secretary of state I interviewed compared early voting that takes place before debates are finished with jurors in a trial who stand up in the middle of testimony and say they’ve heard enough and are ready to render a verdict.

(…)

It’s past time for the states to reconsider allowing all voters such an easy rush to judgment. Absentee ballots and early voting are certainly here to stay, but reasonable restrictions are not an attempt to suppress the vote. They would be an effort to preserve the notion that Election Day was established for a reason and deserves to be respected. Because if present trends continue, we will become a nation in which less than half of us vote on Election Day and the rest of us vote during Election Month.

Jazz Shaw seems to agree with Fund:

Fund cites a number of studies which highlight problems with early voting. While it’s true that some absentee ballots are always required – particularly for the military and those who will be traveling on election day – swamping the system with remote voting counts has already caused issues. For one, the cost of elections, as well as the complexity of managing the ballots, has gone up. And campaigns have to adjust in a very non-traditional way as to how to reach the voters with their message.

Second, there is the issue of low information voters becoming, in effect, no information votersin terms of any late breaking news. Fund lists a number of examples where huge news has broken late in the cycle which might cause voters to reconsider their decisions. But once the ballot has been placed in the mail, it’s too late. How is this benefiting anyone who could otherwise go down to the polling station on election day and make their choice?

These are not new arguments against early voting, of course. Many of them were raised in the states that now allow the practice at the time that legislatures were debating the idea, and were rejected. When you examine them in detail, in fact, it seems clear that the are far weaker than they appear at first glance.

For example, the argument that people who vote early may miss out on some late breaking news development during the course of the campaign that significantly changes is one that makes sense at first glance. After all, it would be preferable for people to have all available information in front of them when the step into the voting booth, and the best way to ensure that is if they wait until Election Day, after all the campaigning is over before casting their ballot. In reality, of course, there have been very few elections in recent history that have turned on late breaking news in this manner to the extent that people who were committed to Candidate A suddenly decided to vote for Candidate B, or C, instead. Modern political campaigns are carefully choreographed endeavors, so the likelihood of surprises is fairly low and, especially in the case of elections for national office, the campaigns have been going on for so long that any information about the candidates that was going to be revealed most likely already has been revealed. About the only event that I can see that might have this type of impact would be if a candidate dies in the days before an election, but in that case there are provisions in the law for what would happen if the candidate who wins is dead (typically a new election, or in the case of a Presidential election, the Vice-Presidential running mate would take the place of the Presidential nominee) That doesn’t discount the possibility that such an event could happen at some point in the future, of course,  but the fact that it is such a rarity seems to me to negate the power of the argument significantly.

Additionally, people who are likely to vote early are generally likely to be the same people who are likely to be motivated at all. These people are likely to be well-informed about the issues in the election, where the candidates stand on those issues, and which candidate is closes to their views. They are, in other words, the voters that pollsters count as strongly or definitely committed to their chosen candidate and the odds that they are going to change their vote before Election Day is exceedingly low. People who are still undecided in the election, or who are uninformed or unmotivated to vote are not likely at all to making the extra effort needed to go out and vote early. If the people who are in this group are going to vote at all, it will be on Election Day most likely. The early voters are going to be the hard-core supporters of particular candidates who are not going to change their minds in any case, and I don’t see any real harm if an individual state allows them the convenience of casting that ballot early.

Fund also argues that early voting is increasing the cost and complexity of political campaigns, forcing campaigns to adjust to the fact that, especially at this point in the campaign, they have to find a way to both appeal to early voters and get their message to people who aren’t going to vote until Election Day. There is some truth in this statement, of course, especially when it means that at least some of the people who will be viewing campaign commercials and receiving campaign literature in the mail in the closing weeks of a campaign may have already voted, but this argument doesn’t strike me as very compelling. In the end, the cost seems like it would be fairly minimal and campaigns have shown us that they are able to adapt quite well to the new early voting environment quite well. In 2012, for example, the Romney campaign had a very well organized early voting arm to its campaign in Florida that was able to give their candidate an insurmountable edge in the primary that went a long way toward sealing his victory in that state, which itself helped propel him to the nomination. In the General Election, both campaigns concentrated on early voting in states such as Florida and Ohio quite successfully, although it seemed clear at the time that the Obama campaign’s early voting campaign was much better organized. Campaign professionals can adapt to these things, and they seem to be doing so quite well. So, this argument doesn’t hold water either.

Fund also brings up the issue of voter fraud, specifically as related programs such as Colorado’s vote-by-mail program. While this is a valid point, and steps out to be taken to preserve ballot integrity in the early voting and, most especially the absentee voting/vote by mail process, with the later being the area where Voter ID and such other remedies would be completely unable to screen out fraud to begin with, it doesn’t seem to me like a reason to ban early voting completely. Obviously, there would be ways to deal with these concerns, and those should be explored. As a general rule, though, Fund’s arguments are incredibly weak and unpersuasive. I don’t take the position that every state should have early voting, and I think it should be left up to the legislature and the authorities who administer the vote to decide the when, where, and how mechanics of early voting. As a general principle, though, there’s nothing wrong at all with early voting and the question of whether or not to implement it should be left to the people of the individual states and their representatives.

 

FILED UNDER: General,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Is early voting bad? Well, of course it depends on the color and age of the early voter. Early black vote = bad. Early white vote = good. Early student vote = bad. Early geriatric vote = good.

    Pretty much the same as any vote. The franchise must be extended as efficiently as possible to old white people.

    It’s all in the Republican manual of democracy.

  2. John Peabody says:

    It’s a healthy conversation. I think there are many people who just love the image of the big ol’ voting machine in the school gym, with the American flag and a handful of poll workers. And pols are usually wary of change, seeing that they don’t want a voting populace that cannot be handled as usual. Alternate voting will shake things up.

  3. Mikey says:

    There are some naysayers, though, and one of them is John Fund at National Review who argues that early voting is harmful, largely because it allows people to vote before they have all available information:

    99% of them have all the information they need when they see a “D” or an “R” behind the candidate’s name.

    If we had a parliamentary system, proportional representation, more than two viable parties, or some combination thereof, Fund would have a point. But with the choices we have, it’s pretty easy to make a decision well in advance of the election.

    The caveat to this is, as Jazz Shaw pointed out, very late-breaking information about an individual candidate that would have caused a change in vote. If that information would have caused a sizable number of voters to change their votes, then early voting would not have been ideal. (Of course if the same information came out the day after Election Day, the effect would be the same, so this probably isn’t a big deal either.)

    However, such instances are quite rare, and if our objective is to maximize the number of people able to vote, the scale should tip firmly in favor of early voting.

  4. Rob Prather says:

    I like early voting. I’ll probably be doing that in the next couple of days. I’ll be voting for Landrieu in an election she’s likely to lose, but there you go. No, I didn’t have an actual point to this comment.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    @Rob Prather:

    I sense a certain entirely appropriate resignation in your tone, Rob. Landrieu because as amazing at it may seem, she’s actually less bad than the alternative. Sigh.

  6. humanoid.panda says:

    The same John Fund is not only a major advocate of voter suppression, but also had publicly opposed the idea of turning Election Day to a national holiday as an alternative to early voting, because then people will use it an excuse to take Monday off and create a four day holiday and hurt the economy. Discussing him as someone who has anything meaningful to say in a discussion of democratic elections is the same as discussing a Madoff text on financial regulation: an act of profound disrespect towards your readers.

  7. Tillman says:

    I’d be okay with getting rid of early voting if they made the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November a national holiday. It’s more a matter of access to the ballot to me, and the costs to the state treasury aren’t incredibly high. In my county in NC, they have eight early voting locations open for two weeks, staffed with about half the pollsters as usual. This is opposed to Election Day, which has nearly two hundred locations open for the one day with twice the staff at each.

    (In the course of checking this info, I learned early voting here starts tomorrow, so that’s another thing to get done over the weekend.)

    Additionally, people who are likely to vote early are generally likely to be the same people who are likely to be motivated at all. These people are likely to be well-informed about the issues in the election, where the candidates stand on those issues, and which candidate is closes to their views. They are, in other words, the voters that pollsters count as strongly or definitely committed to their chosen candidate and the odds that they are going to change their vote before Election Day is exceedingly low.

    Right on the mark. The kind of people willing to cast a vote early aren’t low-information voters; they’re either partisans or well-educated on the issues, probably both.

  8. al-Ameda says:

    Early voting is a drag insofar as those early votes (and absentees) are the least votes tabulated. Because they are a growing number of all ballots cast, the final results are now pushed out many days past the previously normal time for finalizing vote counts and results.

    Increasingly we can’t get things done efficiently. We have the technology to get it done efficiently, but we don’t have the will. Also, half the political culture is obsessed with in-person voter fraud, which is statistically nearly negligible, because they want to suppress voter participation.

    I don’t know where we’re going, but I can’t wait for resentful middle-aged white people (that would be me, but without the resentment) to become even more of a minority voting demographic.

  9. humanoid.panda says:

    @Tillman: As I noted above, Fund explicitly opposes a national holiday, for the simple reason he opposes universal franchise, but lacks the guts to say so openly. The fact that National Review publishes him says all that should be said about the National Review, and the fact that on universal franchise, it is still on the page it was in 1963.

  10. Rob Prather says:

    Michael,

    I agree with Paul Krugman these days. She has a D after her name and that makes her better. Trust me, she’s better than the alternative. The sense of resignation you sense from my comment is real.

  11. humanoid.panda says:

    @al-Ameda: This is all very nice in theory. As a matter of practice, people who lead precarious lives often can get the time off on election day to vote, and, given the poltiical winds today, if early voting was curtailed, you will start seeing bosses extending working hours on election day to stop them from doing so. Since a national voting holiday won’t happen in our lifetimes, we need to live in the real world and protect early voting.

  12. humanoid.panda says:

    There’s no doubt that many people in our increasingly mobile and hectic society want voting to be as easy and convenient as buying fast food. But too much of anything can be bad — just ask someone who has gorged on drive-thru burgers and fries.

    Here is a little tidbit from Fund that Doug posts without thinking about. How does it make sense, instead in terms of a dog-whistle that implies that early voting is making it easier for undesirables to vote? I really prefer people who are open about their contempt for democracy, like Jack on this forum, or Wiliam Buckley back in the 1960s, over this pseudo-high minded bullshit, or the kind of people who read it and choose not take it literally without any reason to do so.

  13. al-Ameda says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    @al-Ameda: This is all very nice in theory. As a matter of practice, people who lead precarious lives often can get the time off on election day to vote, and, given the poltiical winds today, if early voting was curtailed, you will start seeing bosses extending working hours on election day to stop them from doing so.

    I do not believe that I proposed curtailing Early Voting?

  14. beth says:

    As long as we still see photos of people waiting hours on line on Election Day to cast a vote, we need to make sure early voting is available. I can remember the 2008 presidential election, when I waited three hours to vote in a crowded gymnasium. Some of the people around me were discussing whether children should be banned from the voting area since there were a lot of bored, hungry kids running around being disruptive. Can you imagine that there were actually people who thought that was a good idea? Tough luck if you can’t get or afford a babysitter.

  15. JKB says:

    Seems to me the people who really hate early voting are the columnist and pundits since to have their influence, they can’t wait until the evening paper the night before the election to tell everyone how to vote.

    Campaigns as well, since they can’t concentrate their TV ad spending the last few days without risking losing the early vote. But I suspect that will be adapted to. TV may go by the wayside as the means of reaching voters. I know I just started getting campaign mailings, just as early voting has started around here.

    But the newspaper/columnists, well, they’ll be slow to adapt since it will require time/effort and space in earlier papers. Not unlike how the news reports on some entertainment/political meeting event just as it is starting or after its started. They are a day late and a dollar short.

    And what if we learn startling information about a candidate the morning after election day? Should we maybe have a ten day buyer remorse return period like we have for auto purchases?

  16. Tillman says:

    @humanoid.panda: So you’re suggesting that Fund doesn’t want McDonald’s fanatics to vote?

    He’s making a basic metaphor. Paracelsus said it best with “the dose makes the poison.” Now his application of that metaphor is fantastically off-base, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling it dog-whistling.

    Then again, I don’t read National Review.

  17. Tillman says:

    @JKB:

    Campaigns as well, since they can’t concentrate their TV ad spending the last few days without risking losing the early vote.

    That, uh, won’t really be an issue in my experience, what with the propagation of all these “outside groups” and their sinister dark moneys. It’s impossible to watch the news at any time of day in this state without being flooded with pro-Hagan or pro-Tillis ads. The TV ads started in the summer, and the campaign mailings started a month before early voting did.

    The sad point is that this probably foretells an extension of the campaign season as the voting period becomes longer.

  18. Guarneri says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Jesus H Christ. Racism again? You might want to consider replacing your Prozac with Lexapro. I’d hate to think lithium is your only remaining option.

  19. Rob Prather says:

    Also, much on topic, Al Gore’s campaign released a news item saying that George W. Bush had gotten a DUI some years before, and Gore’s campaign released it less than a week before the election. George Bush had many flaws, but the DUI he got was actually minor compared to the rest.

  20. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: Yes! I had the over/under as one, and OTB was as predictable as I could have hoped.

  21. Gavrilo says:

    Can you imagine how hysterical the reaction would be on the left if election day was a national holiday? Talk about a disproportionate burden on the poor. Who exactly do you think has to work on national holidays? It’s not the people in white collar professions like lawyers and bankers and goverment bureaucrats. It’s primarily people in the service professions like restaurants and retail. Thoughtful liberals everywhere would resort to self-immolation like that old Vietnamese monk.

  22. Andre Kenji says:

    I live in country where elections are held on Sundays and where there are very few lines to vote(I usually take some minutes do do that) and I´d like to have early voting here. It would allow people to vote and to take the weekend off, for instance.

  23. rodney dill says:

    At least some of the late breaking news cited is intentionally late. (i.e. dirty trick) Released just before the election by one party, not giving the other party time to address it.

    Early voting means the cards would have to be on the table sooner.

  24. Pinky says:

    @JKB:

    Seems to me the people who really hate early voting are the columnist and pundits since to have their influence, they can’t wait until the evening paper the night before the election to tell everyone how to vote. Campaigns as well, since they can’t concentrate their TV ad spending the last few days without risking losing the early vote.

    Good point. I think that early voting reduces the power of the gotcha last-minute revelation, which the press seems to enjoy so much. [Ah – I see Rodney made the same point 4 minutes earlier.] It also reduces the impact of newspaper endorsements, but the value of those has been declining for decades.

  25. Tillman says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Talk about a disproportionate burden on the poor. Who exactly do you think has to work on national holidays?

    As I recall from my days in the stockade of retail, working on holidays meant extra pay. Employers asked for volunteers.

    But that was years ago. Nowadays I guess you just get fired.

  26. James Pearce says:

    And campaigns have to adjust in a very non-traditional way as to how to reach the voters with their message.

    This is not actually a problem for these campaigns. It’s an opportunity.

    I’m going to be honest: If I had to stand in line at the polling place on Election Day, I probably wouldn’t even bother. We live in the 21st Century. I can cash checks with my phone and have conversations with my car, but I still gotta stand in a booth and poke at a ballot? No thanks.

  27. C. Clavin says:

    People like JKB and Jenos and Florack are never going to get all the information…because the extremist sites they read and news programs they watch won’t give them all the information…so it doesn’t matter.

  28. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri: @Pinky:

    No, you’re right, it’s purely coincidental that 100% of moves against early voting and in favor of more restrictions are coming from Republicans. It’s purely coincidental that those most affected are students and working poor. Coincidences like that happen all the time in politics.

  29. humanoid.panda says:

    @al-Ameda: What do you think the point of the metaphor.
    Fast food is too easy, so people eat too much.
    Voting is easy, so too many people vote.

    Who do you think are the superflous voters in that scheme? (I didn’t meant dog whistle in the racial sense of the word. I truly think Fund is talking about everyone he considers a parasite: single women, minorities, people on welfare and so forth).

  30. humanoid.panda says:

    @Pinky: If that’s any comfort, I am sure people like Fund would be delighted if Democratic voters were disenfranchised as a bloc. Since that can’t fly, he is happy to do it by proxy, and race is a good one.

  31. michael reynolds says:

    @humanoid.panda:
    Well, they can’t win if minorities and students are allowed to vote, so less voting is now a Good Thing to Republicans. They’ve just discovered the wonder of it. Democracy = Fewer People Voting. Yay!

  32. Ron Beasley says:

    Here in Oregon we are 100% vote by mail and I mailed by ballot on Monday. I voted for the legalization of marijuana but what amazes me are there are no ads opposed to it and the pro ads are from police officers and prosecutors.

  33. Vast Variety says:

    If it wasn’t for no excuse absentee voting here in Iowa, I probably would have stopped voting years ago and not been as engaged in the process as I currently am.

  34. Guarneri says:
  35. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    Nah, you’re just lying. You’d have to be, because the only alternative is that you’re stupid. Your choice.

  36. stonetools says:

    John Fund dislikes early voting because it hinders Republican voter supression efforts. We can see what you are doing , John. We understand the game now.
    Republicans should just say openly that they favor voter supression, without the fake concern about the intregrity of the voting process. Their tricks aren’t really disguising their intentions anymore.

  37. David M says:

    Policies that make voting easier and could increase turnout are good. So yes, early voting is a good idea.

    As are same day registration, repealing voter ID suppression laws, ending disenfranchisement for felons, expanding voter registration options, etc.

    And given that it’s opposed by the modern GOP, the opponents of early voting aren’t arguing in good faith, so it’s safe to completely ignore them.

  38. sam says:

    Fund:

    “They would be an effort to preserve the notion that Election Day was established for a reason and deserves to be respected.”

    Surely that puts form over substance, no? It’s the act that’s the important thing, not that day which it occurs.

  39. Tyrell says:

    I voted early for the last few elections. No more. The regular polling place had restrooms, free coffee, and a snack bar outside. The early voting place didn’t. Simple decision.

  40. gVOR08 says:

    @Guarneri: Somebody did some focus groups with conservatives and found that most of them had a great fear of being thought racist. There are two obvious explanations for this fear. One is that liberals and minorities are quick on the trigger to call racism. Evidence favors the other explanation.

  41. al-Ameda says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    I truly think Fund is talking about everyone he considers a parasite: single women, minorities, people on welfare and so forth).

    I generally agree with you on that point.

    I still fail to see where I indicated that we should curtail early voting. I do not favor that. I want them to count those early ballots more quickly than they do now, that’s all I was saying on that.

  42. Just Me says:

    I like the idea of early voting-although Inthink voting a month ahead is ridiculous, I think allowing people to vote a couple of weeks and especially over at least one weekend before the election is a good way to give people the ability to get to the polls. I also don’t think same day voter registration is evil as long as there is some prof required (here in NH to register same day or any day you have to produce an ID with photo and a piece of mail from a utility that reflects your address-this was a requirement before the new voter ID law that also requires ID at the polls).

    I do not like the Colorado “Let’s mail a ballot to everyone and have no way to make sure the person who marked the ballot is the person the ballot was made to” method of voting. This method is ripe for fraud. That said I think there are ways to do a vote by mail that has the ability to try verify the integrity of the ballot.

  43. edmondo says:

    @Guarneri: @michael reynolds:

    Jesus H Christ. Racism again?

    When his only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail.

  44. Tyrell says:

    @edmondo: I agree. The introduction of “racism” is being put into every issue. It is getting so bad that soon people will be called racists when they tell their favorite ice cream flavor !!

  45. al-Ameda says:

    @edmondo:
    @Tyrell:

    @Guarneri: @michael reynolds:
    Jesus H Christ. Racism again?
    When his only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail.

    I don’t see the problem here. When the issue concerns vote suppression, race is definitely an issue.

    Besides, Republicans brought race into play when they signed on to the Birther Issue, and ran with it for nearly 4 years. Republicans often complain that they’ll be accused of being racist if they criticize the president – that is, they’re claiming to be victims in advance of an actual criticism of the president. This is transparently phony – it probably plays well among base Republicans, otherwise it is pathetic self-victimization.

  46. Tyrell says:

    @al-Ameda: My point is that there are some groups that implant race into just about anything. It could even be so far out as someone’s car preferences. You can probably guess how that would come into play.
    The whole thing of hollaring racist st every jot, tittle, shadow, blip, and slurp seems to be in vogue. But this is just another form of the old “yelling wolf” story. It has resulted in people turning a deaf ear now to any event of racism, including that which may be real. And who is engineering all of this? And you can just guess who that probably is.

  47. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    The whole thing of hollaring racist st every jot, tittle, shadow, blip, and slurp seems to be in vogue. But this is just another form of the old “yelling wolf” story.

    It certainly is nowhere nearly as egregious Republicans complaining stridently and vociferously about everything Obama does (or does not do), and then Republicans wonder why nobody but Republicans are listening.

  48. Tyrell says:

    @al-Ameda: Well, when we see leaders of both parties involved and members of the same groups (Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission to name a few), we readily see what is going on and where the country is headed.

  49. Grewgills says:

    In the General Election, both campaigns concentrated on early voting in states such as Florida and Ohio quite successfully, although it seemed clear at the time that the Obama campaign’s early voting campaign was much better organized.

    and here we see the real reason Fund and Shaw agree that early voting is bad, the Democrats seem to be better at it at the moment.

  50. Grewgills says:

    @Tyrell:

    It could even be so far out as someone’s car preferences. You can probably guess how that would come into play.

    No I can’t. Perhaps you could explain and about the ice cream too. Are you worried about your love of vanilla?

  51. Jack says:

    Meanwhile, touchscreen voting machines in Cook county, Illinois are “accidentally” transforming votes for republican candidates to democrat. It’s funny how you never hear about it switching the other way. Voter suppression indeed.

  52. beth says:

    @Jack: ONE machine needed to be recalibrated – how does that become machines (plural). Maybe you can post another bogus Jefferson quote to explain it.

  53. beth says:

    @Jack: My apologies, that was Florak posting the fake quote, not you.

  54. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    Well, when we see leaders of both parties involved and members of the same groups (Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission to name a few), we readily see what is going on and where the country is headed.

    Yes, I think we all want to go back to those heady happy days in 2008-09 when the economy was shedding jobs at a rate of over 700,000 per month, and American saw nearly 25% of their wealth – $17 Trillion vaporized in the economic crash of 2008. After all, since the Great Recession of 2008-09, we’ve has over 50 consecutive months of economic and jobs growth – a terrible thing.

    Yes, I’m sure the elites at the Trilateral Commission and the CFR can see what’s going on.

    I can understand why people tune out the Republican cries of wolf.

  55. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: New York State has none, not a Republican stronghold by any means. and given the terrain/weather in the rest of the state one could argue they should have it. but there’s not a whole lotta liberals in the sticks.

  56. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Ron Beasley: That’s because they are going on what’s happening in Washington to the North, where a gram (~26= 1 oz.) of legal weed sells for $75-300, according to reports I heard from my friends there.

    Legalized maryjane, the triumph of the market winning the drug war.

  57. Gustopher says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker: Your friends are getting ripped off, if they are paying that much these days.

    http://www.leafly.com/dispensary-info/uncle-ike-s-pot-shop/menu

  58. humanoid.panda says:

    @al-Ameda: Ok, sorry- I misread you.

  59. humanoid.panda says:

    @bill: And ye@edmondo: The guy who pretends to be a disiullosioned liberal for kicks doesn’t see any racial component in the idea of limiting the franchise! What a surprise.

  60. humanoid.panda says:

    @edmondo: You forgot- you are pretending to be a liberal, and pretending that limiting the franchise has no racial component kinda gives up your game,no?

  61. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack: This story went viral in 2012. Was stupid then, from the Democratic side, and is stupid now, from the GOP side
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdpGd74DrBM

  62. Barry says:

    Doug: “There are some naysayers, though, and one of them is John Fund at National Review who argues that early voting is harmful, largely because it allows people to vote before they have all available information:”

    When you’re quoting the National Review, you’re quoting a racist sh*trag.

    We are long past the point where any moderately informed person on the right can be thought innocent of deliberate voter suppression, and that means you, Doug.

  63. D.C. Sachs says:

    Mel Carnahan (D-MO) and Paul Wellstone (DFL-MN) – two nominees who death’s nulified early votes. I remember that the Minnesota Democratic party went to court arguing that votes cast for Paul Wellstone (DFL-MN) should be considered votes for the replacement nominee Walter Mondale (DFL-MN). The court rejected that argument. In the end, earlier voters were allowed to nullify their earlier vote by voting again. Those who didn’t their vote did not count.

  64. dmichael says:

    @Just Me: I am not familiar with Colorado’s vote by mail system but I am familiar with Oregon’s, having voted in that system for many years. There isn’t a shred of evidence of voter fraud here (impersonating someone to cast a ballot in that person’s name). We sign the back of the exterior envelope (the interior has a separate privacy envelope containing the actual completed ballot). The voter’s signature is scanned and compared with the voter’s signature on file with the Secretary of State’s office. There are two reasons why vote by mail isn’t used throughout the United States: The Republican voter suppression efforts would be marginalized and the major media would lose too much revenue from the sale of political advertisements.

  65. Tyrell says:

    @Grewgills: Henry Ford, a visionary and icon (when he was younger) also had some negative views on race.
    My favorite ice cream is actually cookie dough.

  66. James Joyner says:

    @Mikey:

    If we had a parliamentary system, proportional representation, more than two viable parties, or some combination thereof, Fund would have a point. But with the choices we have, it’s pretty easy to make a decision well in advance of the election.

    I’d argue the opposite is true. Our system is very much more “the man, not the party” than any of those.