We always knew early voting was an expensive and divisive bad idea, but Ebola has provided another reason to oppose it. The government’s response to Ebola has become one of the most important, and passionate, issues of the midterm elections. Surveys show the overwhelming majority of Americans are paying attention, and are worried.
Yet one million Americans have already surrendered their voice on the issue because they voted early. From the AP:
Midterm elections are less than three weeks away, yet more than 904,000 Americans already have cast their ballots, with almost 60 percent of those early votes in Florida, according to data compiled by The Associated Press from election officials in 11 states.
How unfortunate. This is the one of the serious problems with early voting — voters making dumb or uninformed decisions about fast-moving events. If you voted weeks ago, you voted before the administration’s bungling of the Ebola problem became conventional wisdom. The list of congressional leaders calling for a travel ban continues to grow. Yet the Obama administration continues to oppose it for some frighteningly outlandish reasons.
These are the types of critical issues, life-and-death issues, that voters would have been well-advised to consider when Americans have been casting ballots for centuries — on Election Day. As I wrote at the Washington Times:
First, early voting produces less-informed voters. After they cast an early ballot, they check out of the national debate. They won’t care about the televised debates, won’t consider options, and won’t fully participate in the political process.
Early voting means stubborn voters will make uninformed decisions prematurely. Voting even one week early produces less-informed voters and dumbs down the electorate. …
Those who vote a month in advance are saying they don’t care about weighing all the facts. Early voting encourages stubborn and uninformed voters — something the country could use fewer of, not more.
If you’ve voted early in the past, you should resolve to stop. Wouldn’t you rather listen and learn all you can before you commit?
Folks who vote early should be handed a sticker that says, “I Voted (early without knowing all the facts).” The “I voted” stickers should be reserved for the rest of us who vote on Election Day.
So, vote early, vote dumb. The people who vote early sacrifice information to make a fully informed, and sometimes terribly serious, decision.