Voted yet? The Pew Research Center thinks about 50 million Americans have, representing 38.5 percent of the voter turnout forecast.
I’m for making it as easy as possible for people to cast a ballot. Who isn’t? Well, I mean who among normal people isn’t? I’m not counting politicians and their hacks.
But even I am opposed to extended “early voting.”
First, the longer the voting period goes, the greater the cost — as more paid advertisements, phone calls and mailings are needed to keep reaching voters over many weeks. No problem here with more money in politics — money is essential, and my candidates and ballot issues could certainly always use more promotion. But let’s not artificially advantage big money by running the meter.
Several states now allow more than six weeks of voting prior to so-called Election Day. Even a three-week voting period is far more expensive than building toward a single day — or, say, a weekend through Tuesday voting period (four days).
Second, we ought to vote together, close to the same time, all of us privy to the latest public knowledge. This year’s drip of near daily “October”* surprises, thanks to WikiLeaks and the FBI, shows the potential problem should a major scandal or incident impact the race after so many folks have already voted.
Third, early voting tends to advantage incumbents. Challengers often don’t catch up to the better known and organized incumbent until the final days of the race.
As for voting often, as in more than once, that’s a crime. Plus, with these candidates, once is more than enough.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
*Well into November, some of these surprises, eh? I mean, it is as if they saved the blood rituals for last.