opinion

Decision 2020: The Case Against Early Voting

Voting early doesn’t seem to work in the people’s favor, here’s why. – Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

By Terry Miller

This year’s contentious election (both local and national) has brought forth some fundamental questions about procedure, policy and privacy.

The case against early voting has never been clearer; at least on a national scale. Take what happened in the past week or so for example: Pete Buttigieg dropped out; Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer both ditched the campaign trail and before them, Andrew Yang, Corey Booker, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke and countless others in the initially crowded field aiming their sights and collective fortunes on the steeplechase to the Oval Office in Washington, D.C.

Thousands of eligible voters had already cast their ballot, either by mail or at early voting centers, for their presidential choice – only to find out that a few days before what is known as “Super Tuesday,” their candidate(s) suspended their candidature. Consequently, perhaps hundreds of thousands of votes — or considerably more — have been wasted, pointless. There is no redo in voting.

While the early voting is excellent for local municipalities, the opposite appears to be the case for national elections, especially one as important as the deeply divided and contentious 2020 presidential race.

Since this weekend alone, three major frontrunners in the race for the White House have stopped their campaigns leaving those who voted for them perturbed and deeply disillusioned with the system.

On Facebook, Monrovia’s mayor voiced his concern: “Just curious, since some of the presidential candidates have dropped out of the race, what happens if you voted early for one of them? I can see value in waiting until the last day to vote to make sure your choice is still in the race.”

Additionally, Danielle Haskell pointed out a dramatic example for waiting until Election Day to actually vote: “One example of people maybe changing their mind for a candidate happened yesterday in Los Angeles, with Jackie Lacy’s (sic) husband and his dramatic interaction with protestors; I suppose it goes both ways.”

Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s husband, David, allegedly pointed a gun at a Black Lives Matter protester outside their home early Monday morning, March 2. Lacey apologized for the incident but mentioned death threats she’s received and the times she’s been followed and confronted numerous times. The incident was videotaped by a Black Lives Matter member and is posted on social media.

“I will shoot you. Get off of my porch,” David Lacey can be heard saying as he stood in the doorway.

This incident powerfully illustrates the case for waiting to vote on Election Day, early voters say.

As Politico pointed out Tuesday, “As the Presidential Commission on Election Administration notes in its new report, ‘no excuse’ early voting — meaning it is open even to those who don’t qualify for an absentee ballot — has grown rapidly in recent decades in what the commission called a ‘quiet revolution.’ In the 2012 election, almost one-third of ballots were cast early — more than double those cast in 2000 — and 32 states now permit the practice, allowing citizens to vote an average of 19 days before Election Day.”

National Review expounded on problems with early voting: “Another problem with early voting is that it is comparable to leaving a stage play before the final act. As lengthy and expensive as they have become election campaigns remain our foremost means of adult civic education, and promote the most informed electoral choices. Why should voters be encouraged to make up their minds before the official end of the campaign — unaware of new issues or revelations that may emerge in its closing weeks, or sudden developments (international incidents or domestic crises) that bear on the question of whom to elect?”

Indeed, scores of pundits on Tuesday were scratching their political heads saying we really need election reform and some serious changes in a system that’s destined for failure and serious scrutiny.

“Are Russians interfering with our elections? Thank you, we are apparently perfectly well-equipped to screw up everything ourselves each election. Take Iowa for example; and how this early voting debacle has null and voided thousands of citizens’ choices in the presidential primary.” Susan Motander told Beacon Media. “I never have voted early. I believe the best way is simply to vote ONLY on the physical Election Day, in this case, March 3.”

March 5, 2020

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Terry Miller


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