early voting

I've been hearing a lot lately about early voting. I don't think Ohio has it but I don't really know. Do you know which states allow it and which states don't? The reason for early voting? And if your state doesn't do it, how can you get the ball rolling so the people can have early voting? Thanks.


  • 24 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Oregon has vote-by-mail, and the genesis of the concept was that fewer and fewer people were going to the polls and opting instead to apply for absentee ballots, which they then mailed in. Finally, an initiative petition got enough signatures to put the measure for vote-by-mail on the ballot and it passed several years ago. It's been very popular. We received our voter's pamphlets in early October and our ballots a week or so ago. I've already voted and about 25% of voters in my county have already voted.

    If you live in a state which permits initiative petitions to get issues on the ballot, you could spearhead a vote-by-mail drive with others. I think you would contact your secretary of state for rules, etc.
  • Just picture having the ability to vote on-line from the privacy of your home. Being worked on.
  • Texas has early voting and I always thought it was good so you could avoid crowds on voting day. However, it now kind of scares me because they use touch computer screens and there is no paper trail and we all know how easy it is to manipulate a computer.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 10-25-04 AT 02:39PM (CST)[/font][br][br]The humor with the paper trail is that many places have used mechanical voting equipment for years - well, since the 1880s to be exact. They never had a paper trail, but now it has become so important. But, current technology does allow for a paper trail using touch screen voting equipment. It was used for the first time in the primary elections in CA and Nev last month. You can research on the internet how well it worked. But, as Don will point out, I'm biased because my employer assembles voting equipment.

    A study was done earlier this year by a major research university. Two of the three electronic machines currently available could NOT be hacked into. The one that they were able to manipulate votes on has been modified since then.
  • I've voted absentee for about 14 years now. I first started in the military and when I got back to WA State, I signed up for it again. I like the ability to sit down with my voter's pamphlet and go through each candidate or issue & then fill in my choices. Just did it this weekend and dropped it in the mail. x:-)
  • Tennessee has early voting and it's great. You have about 10 days to vote, with sites throughout the city. Convenient hours, hardly any lines. Our political reporter down the hall thinks about one-third of the votes in Tennessee will be early voting.

    I'd say you could start it in your state by bugging legislators or state election officials. If I remember right, the Democrats in Tennessee pushed early voting. Conventional wisdom is that higher turnout helps Democratic candidates, but I'm not sure that's as true as it used to be.

    James Sokolowski

    "Vote early and vote often!"

  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 10-26-04 AT 06:00AM (CST)[/font][br][br]Exactly James. You illustrate the problem admirably. It's frightening to think that the national elections, or local ones for that matter, will be forever-more determined by mechanical devices, fraudulently wired, easily manipulated, obviously innacurate and patently dishonest. Indeed frightening.

    This whole mess about early and absentee voting and lawyers already lining up to challenge outcomes that haven't even yet come-out should send chills up the spine of every American citizen.

    I'm not sure our processes and outcomes are any further advanced, as relates to credibility, than the ones we see on television where people barefooted, in rags, stuff paper into slots in cardboard boxes. America is headed swiftly to Hell. This is a non-partisan comment and opinion.
  • If you have enough safeguards built into your system, you can minimize the potential for corruption and error - not eliminate it, but minimize it.

    For example, we don't use "punch card" ballots - a simple number 2 pencil coloring in a little oval next to your desired choice is all it takes -any seven year-old who's ever done a standardized test can handle it.

    Further, the security envelope that the ballot is mailed in must be signed by the registered voter. If it's not signed or it's not signed by the person whose signature is on file, the ballot is kicked back to the sender or destroyed.

    Finally, if it's a $$$ issue on the ballot, the measure will not pass unless a super-majority votes (i.e., to pass you would need 51% of the vote and more than half of all registered voters would have had to vote). This way, measures that nobody cares about don't pass.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 10-26-04 AT 05:59AM (CST)[/font][br][br]Parabeagle, your notion of matching voter signature to a signature on file is outrageously laughable! Nobody, no precinct in this country matches a signature at the polls to a signature on file somewhere. (do they?)
  • Where I vote they match a signature. When I go to the table they have a large book and they look up my name. My signature is there and I have to sign next to it. Archaic?
  • mushroomhr is right on! I almost got kicked out of the polling place when I failed to include my middle name in my signature.

    Is it just Ohio or is 87 the average age of poll workers everywhere?

    Anne in Ohio
  • They match signatures here. Also, the Board of Elections yesterday sent personnel to the independent living facility where my parents live so the residents could vote.
  • And of course nobody would ever sign a paper ballot fraudulently. No way could a paper ballot be easily manipulated. Impossible for a paper ballot to be obviously innacurate. And no one signing their name and using a paper ballot would be patently dishonest.
  • You forgot the most important point, no way would a box containing paper ballots ever disappear.
  • Frankly, I have more faith in paper ballots than high-tech voting machines. If they're well designed and simple enough that even a Floridian can use them. x:D

    James Sokolowski
  • Georgia has early voting (for the first time I think.) It started yesterday and I understand that the wait time was between 2-4 hours!!
    I understand the absentee voting, but am not sure about the early voting and why it was done, unless it is so you don't have to stand in line!!
    I know my 82 year old Mother and Father did it (in a much smaller town) because the can't stand in line.
    I am usually # 8 where I vote and it takes about 15 min. We will see in a week.
    E Wart
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 10-26-04 AT 08:30AM (CST)[/font][br][br]You ever notice how standing in a line to vote is similar to standing in an elevator? At first everybody looks at the wall or up toward the ceiling or pretends to be busy reading something, not daring to speak to anybody or rub up against anybody. Then, the longer you stand in the voting line or the longer the elevator is moving or stuck, the more you loosen up. To the point where if the line is long enough or the elevator is stuck long enough, everybody is joking and laughing and discussing politics and football. And if the process is stalled long enough it is a given that at least two people will wind up having sex right there against the counter where the pollworker donuts are or right slap up against the corner where the elevator buttons are. Ever notice this? Maybe I'm just extra observant.
  • Don,
    My husband is voting this year (he doesn't always) I'm sure he would like to know where your poll party is! If that happens where we vote, I guarantee that he will continue to vote everytime!
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 10-26-04 AT 09:54AM (CST)[/font][br][br]I must be voting in a totally different country. I have never had to stand and wait in line to vote. Much less over an hour? It's humorous to me that people rationalize early voting so that they don't have to stand in line! I have lived in Fla, NC, GA and MD Never had to stand in a long line. I have voted by absentee ballot too. They don't usually count those untill after the day of the election. So is it really voting?

    Don't really know where I'm going with this-just "blogging" I guess.

    As far as the electronic voting: I find people's claims that it can't be hacked into - humorous also. As long as their is some one saying it is impossible to hack into there will be someone trying to hack into just because they said it couldn't be done!

    They also verify my signature on a line at the polling place, but... They pay about as close attention to my signature as the check out person does when I use my credit or debit card!

    After all is said and done I will still vote!
  • There needs to be some drastic changes to the registration and voting process.

    People who are not citizens can vote as it stands now because no one is asking for proof of citizenship. Most citizens should be able to produce a birth cert or passport. But that only shows citizenship but how about double or triple voters using their birth name, nicknames and/or maiden names.

    Unless the system falls under extreme scrutiny it will continue. How can we fix it? I don't know.

    As far as voting 2 weeks prior to the majority I think that it is unnecessary. Absentee voting is there for everyone to use why would you need to vote 2 weeks early if you utilized it.

    As always JMO,
  • Here we have:

    Early voting - since about last week. WHY?? They say in case we have bad weather!! Not terribly likely in early November.

    Provisional voting - go ahead and vote without registration, and we'll sort it out later. Okaaay!

    Felons registered to vote, a tiny glitch in the administrative process.

    Absentee ballots not being received, as of last week, due to an overload of registrations. Nephew in Costa Rica is still waiting, since September; and who knows when the Peace Corps Mali daughter will get hers.

    Is it me, or does this translate to ballots hanging out in cyber space and vulnerable to, dare I say it, fraud??? Train wreck coming!!

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