Thu
Nov 1 2018
07:38 am

The following 13 states do not offer any form of early voting (an excuse is required for absentee):
Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode, Island, South Carolina, Virginia

Early voting can be expensive, but it sure makes voting easier. However, before early voting was available I never really had to wait in line for any huge length of time. There was one episode when we lived in Florida where they were calling the election before we were able to vote. It was probably around 7 pm when we were in line. Then, as I recall, there was a time when I early voted in Tennessee and by the time election day came around I wish I hadn't voted for a particular candidate.

According to this 2016 article in the Washington Post, early voting may have a limited effect on turnout. "In one 2013 paper, researchers reported an inverse relationship between early voting and turnout — meaning that as early voting expanded, turnout dropped."

One of the researchers went on to clarify, "My take is that there is a positive relationship between early voting and turnout. The positive effects of early voting on turnout are not large, and the largest positive turnout effects are found in all-mail ballot elections or some form of permanent mail ballot status. These effects are most pronounced in non-presidential elections."

The charts in the article are from 1996 through 2016. One thing they indicate is that during non-presidential elections, voter turnout was about the same in 2014 as it was in 1998.

Alas, we'll keep voting and can only hope that more people start voting.

Rachel's picture

I once stood in line at

When I voted at Bluegrass, I had to vote either before or after work. Never went when there wasn't at least a 45 minute line. I once stood in line from 6 till 9. And the first two hours were outside where it was cold and rainy. If early voting hasn't increased turnout, it's at least made it easy on those of us who vote regularly.

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