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Election Connection

Early and Often


Thousands of voters have already cast a ballot in the presidential election, as early voting is allowed in 32 states. But is early voting really such a good idea? In some states, there is still a heated debate over whether to allow voting before the first Tuesday in November.


Early voting proponents say getting voting out of the way weeks before an election will alleviate the long lines that are expected in many areas on election and help prevent some of the polling problems seen in past elections.


But a lot can happen to sway peoples' decisions in the final days of a campaign. Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher wrote that these new early voting laws put democracy itself at risk.


"Voting is a proud expression of who we are and of our belief in our system and our future. ... It is how we say, "I am part of something larger, and my voice matters, and so does yours." When we chip away at that communal experience, we diminish democracy."


With so many states allowing early voting, getting the most accurate information about laws in your area is key. Pew's Center on the States Election Online project is helping to educate people about early votingĀ and details each state's rules and regulations.

On PBS and YouTube's Video Your Vote channel, people all across the country have already shared their early voting experiences - from drive-through voting in Southern California, to mail-in ballots in Oregon, to waiting in line at early voting places for up to two hours in North Carolina and Virginia.


This woman shared her story of early voting in Georgia, on October 3.


Have you already voted? Do you think early voting take away from the tradition of going to the polls on Election Day? What's your Election Day routine?









7 Comments

Melissa said:

Over 18? Live in the USA? Then vote on November 4th! Have a say in government and exercise your right!

Voting is... PSA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udbBgdqDgNU


Sona Stringham said:

Early voting in some form is critical if all of our citizens are to have an opportunity to vote. Some jobs require travel on a moments notice. A business trip can require someone to be away from their voting precinct. And above all, we have our military forces who are rarely, if ever, physically present in their home state even when based stateside.

Early voting, in some manner, must be part of our country's political system.


William Mahon said:

When asked who I am voting for my answer is I am not voting for anyone, I am voting against incumbents be they democrat or republican who oversaw the disaster our country is experincing financially. I have, along with millions of others watched my retirement savings erode and the national debt rise to levels beyond belief. These incumbents if they were not to be reelected will enjoy their fat congressional pensions and health benefits regardless but it might send a message that the people are still in charge if we throw them all out of office.


Becky Reis said:

There are rumors circulating that absentee ballots are not counted. Does anone know the facts?


Gary L. Qualls, Jr. said:

Agree with Melissa that everyone who is eligible should get out and vote, regardless of political affiliation, but would add to do so wisely. We are at war and, with tensions between Israel and Iran, that war is threatening to expand. Our economy is on "life support," leaving many of our fellow Americans without a job and/or a home. Moreover, many of our traditional American values such as free enterprise, the sanctity of the Constitution, honorable Troop withdrawal, and equality for ALL races, creeds and genders are at stake. Although I know America will ultimately prevail, I'm worried about her. Please take your vote seriously and, in this PC age, I dare say even prayerfully. With one day remaining before the election, we especially need wise leaders at this, one of the most critical times, in our nation's history.


Eric Lizotte said:

"Early voting in some form is critical if all of our citizens are to have an opportunity to vote. Some jobs require travel on a moments notice. A business trip can require someone to be away from their voting precinct. And above all, we have our military forces who are rarely, if ever, physically present in their home state even when based stateside."

There are absentee ballots specifically for that purpose. Voting is meant to be one day, a snapshot in time. Why have primaries then, lets just start voting Jan 1?


Jill Goldman said:

I was pleased that voter turnout was so high (although I was also happy that I didn't have to wait long at my polling place in NJ). I was, however, troubled by the fact that my daughter, a college student, received her absentee ballot yesterday - 2 days after the deadline to submit it - when she applied for it well in advance of the deadline. Fellow students from NJ received their absentee ballots in time, so I don't think it was part of some conspiracy. But if we emphasize each individual's privilege and responsibility to vote, garden variety disorganization should not be an acceptable reason for denying some people that right. NJ officials that I spoke with on the phone couldn't have been nicer about contacting a judge to see if it could be arranged - but in the end it couldn't. I wonder how many other people were unable to vote even though they did everything right? We worry about voter fraud - but Mickey Mouse is not really going to show up and vote. My daughter really wanted to vote!


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