Last modified on 13 November 2012, at 09:56

Talk:Early voting

This is an old revision of this page, as edited by WilliamWB (Talk | contribs) at 09:56, 13 November 2012. It may differ significantly from current revision.

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Voter intimidation

The page says that early voting "facilitates voter intimidation, particularly by unions and large employers that try to increase turnout by their people." Could someone please explain this? As I understand it, the ballot is still secret, and voters are free to spoil their ballot without anyone knowing. I personally think that increased lawful participation in democracy makes our government better. GregG 12:04, 13 October 2012 (EDT)

Studies show that overall turnout is not increased by early voting. If anything, it detracts from the respect of Election Day.--Andy Schlafly 10:15, 27 October 2012 (EDT)
You did not answer the question. How does early voting "facilitate voter intimidation." ?
It's obvious: union bosses and employers tell the rank and file to vote early, and may even drive them to the polls. That is not voting free from all intimidation.--Andy Schlafly 21:14, 27 October 2012 (EDT)
The only intimidation I can see that's unique to early voting is pressuring voters to make up their minds before Election Day. The practice of employers or churches bus their employees or parishoners to the polls could just as easily be done on Election Day itself. So, to the extent that such practices are bad, I don't see how that is caused by extending early voting or no-fault absentee voting. GregG 12:51, 28 October 2012 (EDT)

Need sources

An encyclopedia article needs to be more than personal opinion and should have sources. The sentence, "The less the early voting, the more integrity there is in the process, and the more likely it is the Republican candidate will win.:" is not necessarily true and is certainly not true over a long period of time. But there is no caveat as to what time period is address. The only text reference is to the year 2010. I can think of states where early voting was disproportionately for the Republican candidate. Wschact 10:01, 27 October 2012 (EDT)

I'll look for cites, but the truth of the statement is self-evident.--Andy Schlafly 10:14, 27 October 2012 (EDT)
It is not self-evident nor universally applicable. Suppose there is a state with a popular Republican US Senator who is polling at 70%. He will get 70% of the early vote. If there is a hurricane on election day and only very few hard core supporters vote on that day, he may get only 50% of election day votes. Wschact 10:19, 27 October 2012 (EDT)
"The truth of the statement is self-evident." That's a great way to avoid having to back up assertions with empirical data. Have you ever tried that on a judge? MattyD 10:23, 27 October 2012 (EDT)
Folks, do you look for cites on the internet? They are not hard to find, and I've just added two.--Andy Schlafly 21:12, 27 October 2012 (EDT)
Well, you have some anecdotal evidence, nothing that suggests a wider pattern, but it's a start, so that's an improvement. Next time, don't wait for people to beg you for citations. Learn how to make and document an argument properly. MattyD 21:22, 27 October 2012 (EDT)
How about looking first on the internet, before complaining? The statements about the defects in early voting are logical.--Andy Schlafly 21:29, 27 October 2012 (EDT)
Thank you for your copy edit of my copy edit. Much better. However 7 p.m. + 7 hours = 2 a.m. not 4 a.m. I still believe that generalizations need to be limited to "in 2012" or "in Colorado" etc. Wschact 21:36, 27 October 2012 (EDT)

Depending on the state (for instance, early votes cast in Florida tend to buck the trend by being overwhelmingly Republican), a quick glance over some sources does lead me to reluctantly agree with Andy that early voting does tend to give a slight advantage to Democratic candidates (enough to sway the results of a close election). This is because the demographics most likely to vote early are the elderly (who usually vote Republican), racial minorities (who usually vote for Democrats), and blue collar workers (who also trend towards the Democrats). Given the reasons most often cited for voting early, which are convenience, having to work on election day, and having already decided who to vote for, this is not particularly surprising. It does not, however, appear that this is has anything to do with voter intimidation or any other underhanded tactics; its just the nature of the process. (here are links to the sources I looked over, link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4. --JHunter 09:33, 28 October 2012 (EDT)

You're either assuming that those people would somehow vote otherwise if they waited until election day or advocating that citizens--and last I checked, Democrats are still citizens--should be denied the franchise because it just so happens that a particular voting pattern tends to get out one party's votes in a particular way. What's the next step on that slope? MattyD 09:50, 28 October 2012 (EDT)
In my opinion, restrictive voter ID laws like those in Texas and (before it was essentially gutted of its worst elements by the state during the preclearance process) South Carolina. Also, restrictions on voter registration as found in Texas and Florida. But this is just my opinion. Regardless, I think making it easier for eligible voters to exercise the franchise is something to be commended, not condemned. GregG 12:41, 28 October 2012 (EDT)
There is nothing inherently "Republican" about those demographics or about the pros and cons of early voting. The impact of early voting depends on the relative popularity of the candidates. We should not present these statements as timeless truths, when there are so many variables. What is a good strategy for Republicans like Arnold S in California or Paul Ryan in Wisconsin will not apply to Michele Bachmann in Minnesota. Our readers (including teenagers) are counting on us to give them a straight-forward article on early voting. Saying it helps Republicans or Democrats is far removed from the essence of the idea of early voting, because it depends on who are the candidates and the nature of the jurisdiction. Wschact 21:45, 28 October 2012 (EDT)
Early voting infringes on the right not to vote. For example, it subjects union workers to repeated harassment over a period of days or weeks until they vote.--Andy Schlafly 22:19, 28 October 2012 (EDT)
That is not a result of "early voting" but rather of the state laws that give political parties access to the list of people who vote early or absentee. In a jurisdiction that allow early voting and keeps the list secret, there is no possibility of organized follow through. The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article on corporations where management told their workers how to vote, including statements that if the wrong candidates won, they might have to shut the plant. So, harassment goes both ways. Wschact 06:56, 29 October 2012 (EDT)
Plus, if a voter decides that they don't want to vote, he or she can always spoil the ballot. GregG 10:50, 29 October 2012 (EDT)

What effect will Hurricane Sandy have on early voting? Will it sway the result toward one candidate? --Ed Poor Talk 10:53, 29 October 2012 (EDT)

I have added Gov. McDonnell's request to expand in-person absentee polling hours in Virginia. There may be similar moves in other states. The storm has shifted campaign schedules and GOTV efforts. Thank goodness none of the candidates have tried to blame the storm on their opponent. With the power out, the bombardment of negative television adds and robocalls has ceased. Wschact 05:45, 30 October 2012 (EDT)

Additional States and voter rolls

It is my understanding that Oregon and Washington only allow voting by mail--if so, wouldn't they qualify as states which allow early voting? Also, it is my understanding that all states provide lists of citizens who have voted in each election, so wouldn't that also allow intimidation?

Since making these edits would constitute "substantial changes" I thought it wise to discuss them here first.

Thanks, WilliamWB 09:56, 13 November 2012 (EST)