Thursday, February 6, 2014

Early Voting Debate Part II: More Spending on Elections?

Following up on the thoughtful piece by Professors Eugene Kontorovich and John McGinnis or early voting, J. Christian Adams writes eight reasons against early voting.  While the professors laid out the case against early voting from a civic duty and traditional angle, Adams goes after early voting by undercutting the very reason its proponents are advocating it.

Seventh, early voting doesn’t increase turnout. Studies have shown that states that adopt early voting have no empirical turnout increase.

Further, most of the problems from the long wait of the 102 year old voter President Obama highlighted in his state of the union last year to the long lines generally happened during early voting. 

Adams also lays out what should be the liberal case against early voting.  While many liberal groups are advocating limiting spending on campaigns, early voting necessitates spending more money.  Instead of gearing most campaigns limited campaign money toward a “Super Bowl” Election Day when everyone is watching, now you have to spend money throughout the playoffs or extended election period

Fourth, early voting puts more money into politics. Campaigns will be more expensive and complicated. Leave it to a Washington commission to suggest the nationwide expansion of early voting.

Adams makes a good government argument that most conservatives concerned about government spending and liberals concerned about protecting social programs may find persuasive:

Second, early voting is extremely expensive. When election officials drag out an election for weeks, that means more poll workers, more broken machines, more salaries, more costs, more everything.

Elections are already expensive. Cash-strapped local governments should not have to spend many millions more to run an election for weeks.

Where is the money coming from? 

Adams has many more reasons than these few.  The whole piece is worth reading.  What is most interesting is Adams reasons run the political gamut and should give pause for thought on early voting from all parts of the political spectrum. 

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