The Widdershins

Early voting experiences and differences

Posted on: October 26, 2016


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 early-votingscience 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.

vote_here_bilingualIndeed, 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
And if you are going to a neighborhood Albertsons to get groceries you can even early vote at some of those locations! It just seems that Nevada and Clark County are doing everything possible to make early voting an easy thing.
But not so much in North Carolina.
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.
And take a look at that one thing in the quote:  in the urban centers of Charlotte, Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Winston-Salem.  That right there is a key thing to pay attention to in early voting in North Carolina.

Lenoir County near North Carolina’s eastern shore is more than 40 percent black, and there are more than double the number of registered Democrats than Republicans.

In line to early vote in N. Carolina

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?


55 Responses to "Early voting experiences and differences"

Excellent post Fredster. What a study in contrasts! If only every state was as accommodating as Nevada — we can only hope it will come to that one day. Thanks for bringing attention to this — perhaps this can be part of Obama’s and Holder’s portfolio going forward.

@1: Prolix I think it’s the difference between encouraging people to vote and trying to stymie people’s right to vote.

Like I said, Hillary as Prez and a few new Justices and maybe Shelby County v. Holder is history.

I forgot to add the George Rodrigue “Blue Dog” I voted sticker.

In California we have early voting by mail, which is even better.

I’m trying to figure out why these NC Republican election officials think cutting early voting hours would help them ‘monitor’ voter fraud. Wouldn’t it be easier to commit this so called voter fraud when the line is a mile long and the place is busy? They just don’t make sense.

Someone needs to be outside where these long lines are holding signs “Long lines brought to you by Republican election officials (their names)”. Let people think about that while they’re waiting to vote.

@5: I wouldn’t even try to apply any logic to their statements. I like the idea about the signs.

@4: Yes, y’all can do absentee for “no reason just want to”.

Happy birthday to Hillary!! I wish I had thought about that. I would have waited until today to vote on her birthday. Anyway, I heard John King on CNN this morning mention it was Hillary’s birthday. Then he said “I wonder how she likes her birthday gift from WikiLeaks?” I hate ’em all.

Considering where Justice Roberts cut his teeth, it’s no wonder ‘he had it in for voting rights act’. Love me some notorious RBG.

In a scathing dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg laid out evidence that those states have not grown colorblind—by any stretch. She recounted how federal investigators had secretly recorded Alabama officials referring to African Americans as “Aborigines” and openly plotting to block a ballot initiative they thought would increase African American turnout, as “every black, every illiterate,” would be “bused [to the polls] on HUD financed buses.”

“These conversations occurred not in the 1870’s, or even in the 1960’s, they took place in 2010,” she wrote, indicating why preclearance “remains vital to protect minority voting rights and prevent backsliding.”

@9, thanks for posting that. Thank god for RBG, but I hope Hillary can get some new reasonable supremes in that court asap.

@9, thanks for posting that article GAgal. There are few examples more egregious than NC — researching voting by POC and then limiting voting in accordance with their findings. Disgraceful is too polite a word.

There is an escape mechanism in the Shelby v. Holder case. It focused on the equation used to determine “preclearance”. If Congress passes another iteration of the equation, everything goes back to the way it was. Passage in the Senate, with new Dem members, seems assured. Passage in the House, well, it just depends on whether Ryan is forced to govern with Dems or tries to go it alone.

This is off topic, but here’s a textbook case of the despicable behavior of the Alt-right. This guy is one of the “new media” kings of the Alt-right. This guy is next to the belly of a snake in a wagon rut. He is everything I despise in a sub-human. If you read the article, do not do it on a full stomach. These are the Breitbart wunderkinds. Save us!

Folks, it is time for the crazy polls to start coming out. In the NBC Poll, they have Trump garnering 40% of the Latino vote in Florida. Crazy. When Drumpf has been +/- 17% of Latinos, I find nothing to show he will do double plus that in Florida. The sample was also heavily skewed toward male Latinos which may account for the discrepancy.

In the Faux Poll just released today showing it a 3% national race, they don’t show the internals so I can’t get to them. I figure they have over-sampled on Republicans under some enthusiasm model they have concocted. In 2012 based on actual voting, the turnout was Dems+6, meaning, six percent more Dems turned out nationwide. Romney, a much more acceptable and plausible candidate was not able to pull better than a Dem +6.

I’m betting the reason Faux is floating a poll like this is to bolster turnout for the Senate and House races. Just a guess without any evidence one way or other.

And for every one of those polls, there is one of these. The new AP poll shows Clinton leading Trump nationally by a staggering 14 percentage points among likely voters, 51-37. That margin is the largest national lead for Clinton among recent surveys. It was released an hour ago.

Thanks for that Prolix. I was wondering about the headlines I saw briefly today about ‘the race is tightening’…’dead heat’ and ‘Clinton’s lead cut in half’. National poll Suffolk U/ USA Today has Hillary at +9.

Jason Chafettz’ getting started early on his investigations. You know, I really appreciate Elijah Cummings comments, as always, but dammit. I want someone to blast it everywhere that this is an abuse of power that is wasting taxpayer dollars, undermining a US President and is total bullsh*t!! Is that too much to ask of elected Democrats?

I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Who knows? Maybe we’ll take enough House seats to put some fear into these fools.

@15, couldn’t agree more GAgal. There’s a scenario that the House will be run by the Democrats with a small, non-tinfoil adorned caucus of Republicans. We should be so lucky.

Really fascinating post, Fredster. I am so jealous of states that have early voting! I wish I could go vote for Hill a REEE right now!

Prolix, I heard about the “40% of Latinos” statistic in Florida and I thought, “Impossible.” I think Fox is rigging the polls to make things more interesting. Ha! There’s my own “everything is rigged, d*mmit!” conspiracy theory.

It’s so condescending to hear all these male political analysts talking about the race. They keep asking “How can Drumpf win back women in the next two weeks? Maybe if he stays on message and on script…” So really, women are supposed to forget 18 months of misogyny and 11 women stating the Orange Creamsicle is a sexual predator…in two weeks? Good f*cking Christ, we’re not hamsters with ADD. We’re women. And we DO NOT FORGET.

@18: Thanks mb. I just have to say I was completely amazed at how easy they make it there. I downloaded that pdf listing of the sites and times and when I saw the grocery stores I simply LOL’d. I thought “okay you can do your weekly shopping and vote at the same time!”.

And you don’t have to go to a site in your particular area. As long as you have some I.D. you can go to any site to vote. But that being said they did offer neighborhood early voting sites. I would say that in at least Clark County there is simply no excuse for not voting.

@15: I saw that piece also. And the solution? Elect more Democrats.

Edited to add:

And how do we elect more Dems? Well we hope that what Obama and Holder are going to do after the election brings about some change in redistricting.

Charles Blow was on Don Lemon. He’s another regular panelist who is not really pro-Hillary, but anti-Trump. (There are many of these on CNN, who bring in two Trumpers, one Hill supporter and someone like Blow, who they pretend is a Hillary supporter so they can say they are fair and balanced).

However, he said things most Hill supporters won’t. First he called out Kayleigh and Scottie for criticizing the media. He made them admit that because they are being paid by CNN to be there, they ARE the media. They still denied it. Also, Blow kept saying he was a journalist and they weren’t.

He also called out Newt as a serial philanderer and is the LAST person who should be accusing anyone of being obsessed about sex. And besides, this was not about sex, but about sexual assault.

Oh and let’s go ahead and dispel that myth about illegals and voting.

Just saw this on the replay of Maddow. Oh this is just too damned funny.

That’s great! They almost made it to the December deadline after 30 years. Glad to see they brought Pence and KellyAnn in on it. As soon as Trump and Bannon hear about this filing, Trump will ratchet it up to stick it to the Repubs. I wonder if any one besides Rachel will be covering this.

@23: I’m sure CNN will have something on it.

@24, supposed to be satire I know, but I think this is true!!!

Apparently there are some concerns about possible violence on Election Day.

Just what we need.

A writer from The Daily Beast took a gander at the new tRump hotel in DC. Not impressed.

The chairs, she remarked, were “so slutty.”

Charles Pierce has a good article on the craziness of the Republicans and how much crazier they’re getting now that they’re desperate.

John Weaver is chief strategist for John Kasich. He’s talking about Cruz, Chaffetz, and their ilk of “not endorsing, but voting for Drumpf.”


@30: They are so frightened of their batshit crazy base they think this is going to placate the crazies.

Apparently the first, trial run of Trump-TV didn’t go so well. #amateurhour

And so, with production values more akin to “Wayne’s World” than World News Tonight, “Trump TV”—or whatever Donald Trump’s soon-to-end campaign is calling its brave new foray into live video programming—launched its nightly news report Monday evening for the final two weeks of the 2016 presidential race.

From the inert camera position (or more likely a laptop—at one point the show was interrupted by that signature blaring Skype noise), the war room was an institutional-yellow-painted and by all appearances windowless, airless space…

Seems that production values were not high up on the list. 🙄

I love this petition. They need to use a different platform to get it more visibility.


Did y’all see this non-endorsement of Hillary from the editorial board of The Yale Record? I’m just going to paste the entire thing.

In its 144-year history, The Yale Record has never endorsed a Democratic candidate for president. In fact, we have never endorsed any candidate for president. This is, in part, due to our strong commitment to being a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, which mandates that we are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

This year’s presidential election is highly unusual, but ultimately no different: The Yale Record believes both candidates to be equally un-endorsable, due to our faithful compliance with the tax code.

In particular, we do not endorse Hillary Clinton’s exemplary leadership during her 30 years in the public eye. We do not support her impressive commitment to serving and improving this country—a commitment to which she has dedicated her entire professional career. Because of unambiguous tax law, we do not encourage you to support the most qualified presidential candidate in modern American history, nor do we encourage all citizens to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all by electing Secretary Clinton on November 8.

The Yale Record has no opinion whatsoever on Dr. Jill Stein.

@35: Gotta be in compliance with the tax code.


Remember when the Koch brothers were all ready to spend $889 million on this election year? Then came Trump. Now they’re in disarray. I love this about the tea party they created:

“We are partly responsible,” said one former network staffer. “We invested a lot in training and arming a grassroots army that was not controllable, and some of these people have used it in ways that are not consistent with our principles, with our goal of advancing a free society, and instead they have furthered the alt-right.


“What we feel really badly about is that we were not able to educate many in the tea party more about how the process works and how free markets work,” said the donor. “Seeing this movement that we were part of creating going off in a direction that’s anti-free-market, anti-trade and anti-immigrant — many of us are really saddened by that. Unfortunately, there is little in the short term we can do about that.”

Well guys… looks like we can all grab our guns and go take over any federal property we want. The Bundy crew from the Oregon standoff was found not guilty on all counts. Which one should we go “occupy” first?

That non-endorsement from Yale was wonderful!!

The Koch brothers statement was the opposite. They have absolutely no idea how they sound. “We brainwashed people into thinking Barack Obama was a Kenyan Muslim who was secretly planning on destroying America, so why didn’t they embrace free markets?” Huh?! At what point in time was the Tea Party movement ideological?

You have to go over to Upps and read the post and link by Imust. And as she says, have a tissue handy.

Misleading headline here and tries to come across as negative, but I’m not buying the slant. It’s about the latest hacks about Bill Clinton. I don’t get it. Doug Band has his Teneo business and encourages people to donate to the Clinton Foundation, which is a charitable foundation. What does this guy, with his own private business encouraging donations to a private foundation, have anything at all to do with Hillary’s presidential run or when she was SOS? I’m seriously confused. He’s not a government official. Never has been. There is no such thing as quid pro quo in a situation like this. It’s called networking. Doug Band also sounds a little self important to me.

Now we know why he called Chelsea a spoiled brat and said she was having trouble “finding her place”. When Chelsea came on to the Foundation, she questioned Band’s actions and hired independent lawyers to audit the Foundation. Apparently he didn’t like that too well. Good for her.

@38, I can’t understand how they were found not guilty. Carrying guns and taking over Federal property while white? Hey, a bunch of us white liberals should go take over some Republican offices!

@43 It must of been a jury of their “peers”.

CNN says between 800 to 900 ISIS fighters have been killed in the retaking of Mosul. ISIS is now sending in “suicide squads”.

@42 Dang it, Fredster! I thought you were gonna tell me Hillary was five points ahead in Georgia!

Oh fer gawds sake! Letter to the editor this week: After calling Hillary a liar, he says this – ‘I am so tired of seeing Hillary’s fake smile and her hurry to get in her limousine. Remember, she has not had to drive a car in 25-30 years, but states that she wants to be our champion’. Dumber than a box of rocks. Isn’t that a limousine that Trump’s been climbing into his entire life? When was the last time Trump drove a car?

I have to say there is a great Letter to the Editor from a 84 year old white man who says he remembers the days of white-only drinking fountains, restrooms, restaurants and the back of the bus. It’s in response to quite a few letters from white people claiming discrimination no longer exists and it’s black people’s fault if they’re struggling. His last line is ‘All you whites who read this, would you be where you are if you were black.?’

The GA voting machine thing scares me.

@31, Fredster yes, you nailed it.

@45, yes, we watched a brief spot about on the news. Those Kurdish fighters are tough.

@38 & 33: I’m very disappointed that those clowns got off.

Love the non endorsement!

Did you guys see the news about Ukraine hacking Russia? Good lord. I’m glad Putin is getting some of his own back, but what is this world coming to?

Playing catch up because I watched two college games tonight. Congrats annie. Now when does USC play the two Washingtons?

GAgal@46: I had to look it up to see where Bryan county was. Hmmm, down below Savannah.

Too funny. Trump’s family fortune began with his grandfather running a Canadian brothel.

@44, Especially weird because this is the Left Coast. They must have been from eastern Oregon.

@54, well, nothing much has changed in that family line….

Comments are closed.

Keep Up

Atrocities Documented:

What the F*ck Just Happened?!

Victories Won:

Your Victories Against Drumpf!

Wanna Be A Widdershin?

Send us a sample post at:

widdershinssubmissions at gmail dot com

Our Frontpagers

I’m ready. Are you?

Blog Archive

October 2016
« Sep   Nov »

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

So similar

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
2.7 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

Heroine of the Resistance


Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Perfect Name For Him h/t Daily News

Scary a.f.

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!