Early voting experiences and differences
Posted October 26, 2016on:
Good day Widdershins!
There’s a song by Dinah Washington called “What a difference a day makes“. When it comes to voting and in particular early voting, let’s say what a difference a state makes. You would think that there might be some uniformity in early voting by the states but there’s not. And where exactly did the idea of early voting come from and how did it get started? Time magazine says the precursor to early voting was absentee voting which allowed an individual to still vote if they were not going to be in the area on election day.
“Excuse-required absentee voting started during the Civil War —a product of the competition between Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan,” says Paul Gronke, a professor of political science at Reed College and founder and director of the non-partisan Early Voting Information Center. “Lincoln wanted to assure that he got the votes of the soldiers who were serving away from home.”
The National Conference of State Legislatures‘s Wendy Underhill says the earliest evidence the organization could find was “a list of eligible persons [who] were permitted to vote before Election Day” when Louisiana established “in-person absentee voting” in 1921.
According to Paul Gronke the founder and director of the non-partisan Early Voting Information Center :
The earliest example of early non-absentee voting that Gronke can recall dates back to the late 1970s. California adopted a type of early voting called “no-excuse absentee balloting” — in which voters don’t have to have an excuse to apply for an absentee ballot — because the state was dealing with “an increasing number of people who were simply lying, saying ‘I couldn’t make it to the polling place’ when what was apparent is that they had really long commutes or it was otherwise really inconvenient to make it.”
So, let’s just say that early voting is now a given. It’s a thing. It is something that helps out the individual voter who may not be able to vote on Election Day due to work, other commitments such as kids in daycare or whatever reason. Hell, these days it could be due to the fact you have a parent in adult daycare or you have Fido in doggie daycare.
And indeed, early voting is popular, and maybe especially among Democrats. An article in the Miami Herald shows that in Clark County Nevada (Las Vegas):
Fifty-five percent of Clark County voters who cast their ballot on Saturday were registered Democrats, while 27 percent were Republicans. Total Clark County turnout of 39,309 broke a 2012 record in raw numbers, but not as a percentage of the active registered voter base.
Democrats accounted for 51 percent of early voters Saturday in Washoe County, while 33 percent were Republican.
Indeed, Clark County makes it incredibly easy to early vote. If you go here, you can then download a link that shows all of the early voting locations in Clark County along with the dates and times. They have early voting locations in shopping centers and in trailers set up in parking lots at some locations.
All of the seven shopping center sites below have the same hours of operation:
Oct. 22 – Nov. 3 (Sat. – Thurs.): 9am – 7pm / Nov. 4 (Last Friday): 9am – 8pm
Early voting kicked off on Thursday in the key swing state of North Carolina, and voters turned out to the polls in droves. Across the state, but especially in the urban centers of Charlotte, Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Winston-Salem, voters waited for hours to cast a ballot.
But its Board of Elections is controlled by white Republicans, who recently voted to slash the number of early voting sites from four to one, and only open that location during weekday businesses hours and a couple of hours on Saturday morning.
The Republican board members said cutting the number of early voting hours by more than three-quarters would save the county money and allow them to “monitor voter fraud more effectively,” though extensive studies in North Carolina and across the country have found in-person voter fraud to be nearly non-existent.
Yep, there’s that good ole voter fraud meme once again.
The Brennan Center for Justice has some very good info on voting, voting rights restrictions, and especially about the 14 states that changed their voting laws after the Supreme Court decision that basically gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Of the 14 states with new restrictive voting laws in effect for the first time in a presidential election this year, six were previously covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Five of these states — Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina*, Texas†, and Virginia — have new voter ID laws in place.
Yet another reason we must have Hillary as our next President. New Justices and then buh-bye Shelby County v. Holder.
What’s on your minds today Widdershins?
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