During the Democratic primaries earlier this year, voters who cast early ballots for Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar in Super Tuesday states found out the hard way that early voting can be dangerous. Both candidates dropped out before Super Tuesday, and voters who cast ballots for them couldn’t do anything about it. They couldn’t revote. The only state that allowed voters to change their ballots was Minnesota, but the deadline had already passed.
Scenarios like this should have been the nail in the coffin for early voting. But the pandemic raised concerns about in-person voting for many and has caused a huge surge in mail-in voting and in-person early voting.
But primaries are different, right? In a general election, we don’t have multiple candidates vying for their party’s nomination, so early voting isn’t a big deal, right?
Guess again. If Google searches are any indication, it appears that a lot of people are looking to find out if they can change their vote:
Proof that early voting is a horrible idea.https://t.co/m9JGN0sWq5
— Matt Margolis 🇺🇸 (@mattmargolis) October 24, 2020
In the final two weeks of the campaign, Google searches for “can I change my vote” have surged. Regardless of who you think these people originally voted for, doesn’t this prove that early voting is problematic? While most of the electorate is likely unswayable in either direction, how many swayable voters thought they were doing the right thing by casting an early ballot only to change their mind later?
While it’s difficult for most of us to fathom the possibility that something could happen to change one’s mind about who they plan to vote for, it’s obvious that it can happen, and it appears to be happening right now. When this election is over we need to have a serious look at how voting is done in this country. Early voting is a cancer on the electoral process that can disenfranchise voters who aren’t 100 percent committed to either candidate.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis