Do Your Voting On Election Day
In this most annoying of election seasons, I am being inundated to do something that I would never do: vote early. There are ads everywhere. It seems that every site I visit is imploring me to vote early in some visually offensive font and color combination. I’ve been trying to watch sports on television again and the ads are there too. I’m waiting for my cat to walk across my living room with “VOTE EARLY” shaved on his side.
I loathe voting that doesn’t happen on election day, with a few exceptions, of course. Absentee voting for deployed military and Americans who are expatriated for work and a few other exceptions is perfectly acceptable.
Voting by mail just because you’re too lazy to pull yourself away from your cheesy fries and get your fat you-know-what to a polling place is not.
We can explore the unmitigated evil of vote-by-mail at another time. Today I’m here to rail against early voting.
Early voting is being embraced by the Republicans and fetishized by the Democrats. In fact, the central premise of Joe Biden’s rant about the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett is that the Senate shouldn’t be holding confirmation hearings because “people are already voting.”
Yeah, well, it’s the middle of October. People shouldn’t be voting in an election scheduled for November 3rd.
Part of my aversion to early voting is that I’m a traditionalist. I like the election day ritual. When I was traveling full time I always arranged my schedule to be home for election day even though I would have been perfectly justified in voting absentee.
Sentiment and a love of tradition may be why I love voting on election day, but it’s not really enough to make me despise early voting as much as I do. No, that has to do with the way early voting completely bastardizes the election process.
From City Journal:
Voting early is akin to boxing referees declaring one fighter the winner on points halfway through the bout–not knowing that a knockout punch was on its way. It may be hard to imagine what revelation about the candidates, at this point, would make much of a difference. But history has demonstrated such possibilities.
That was written before the Hunter Biden emails news hit, which certainly qualifies as a revelation that might make a difference, especially as we learn more and more.
Unfortunately, record numbers of Americans are voting early this year.
The Democrats have been exhorting people to vote early because they’ve known all along that Grandpa Gropes is a problematic candidate. The potential for him to screw this up has always loomed large. They wanted to get as many votes as possible in before they had to let him off-leash and out of the basement. Little did any of us know that the Biden family would turn out to be the Corleones of the Ukraine.
The idea of making election day a national holiday has some appeal. The polls could be opened even longer and, if most people had the day off there wouldn’t be the pre-work and post-work crushes. It’s not a perfect solution but it’s a lot better than the early and mail-in voting messes.
We’re still having presidential debates this late in the cycle for a reason. The presumption is that everyone hasn’t made up their minds. One might argue that in the highly polarized political environment that we’re dealing with this year everyone has made up their minds already. That won’t always be the case, hopefully. We can’t use these anomalous times as a reason to get sloppy.
Candidates should have until the very last minute to make their cases to the electorate. A presidential election is far too important to cheapen with a diluted process that lets impatient people get their votes out of the way early as if it were a major inconvenience. Too many Americans already take voting for granted. Early voting exacerbates that.
It really bothers me that so many Republicans are fans of early voting. In theory, Republicans are in favor of more election integrity. It’s difficult to believe that when the GOP is on the early voting bandwagon, encouraging people to participate in the erosion of what little integrity is left in modern voting.
If the Democrats get more control after November they will no do push for a host of things that will render elections almost completely untrustworthy. A toxic cocktail of no voter ID requirements, universal vote-by-mail, and perhaps even earlier voting will open up the process to more potential for fraud.
Voting is a sacred right that we should all appreciate more.
Maybe we would if everyone had to put a little effort into it.