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By John C. Fortier

American citizens as soon as amassed at the first Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November to select the nation's leaders. Election Day was once an afternoon of civic engagement whilst buddies met on the polls after which forged their ballots. some time past twenty-five years, although, the USA has gone through a revolution in balloting not like whatever it has skilled within the first two hundred years of its heritage. we've created a process of many mini-election-days top as much as the most event.

Today approximately 1 / 4 of american citizens vote earlier than Election Day, both via absentee poll or at early vote casting locations. In 1980, just one in twenty citizens voted prior to Election Day. What has occurred? Has the benefit of absentee or early vote casting compromised the integrity of the method and weakened a unifying civic experience?

In Absentee and Early balloting: tendencies, can provide, and Perils, John Fortier files the dramatic bring up in absentee vote casting and, extra lately, the meteoric upward push in early vote casting. He examines the felony and ancient purposes for alterations within the vote casting procedure and the numerous variations throughout states. Fortier bargains his ideas approximately what the adjustments have intended for the rustic and the place we should always move from right here.

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Extra info for Absentee and Early Voting

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Gans attributes the poor performance of absentee voting to the fact that turnout efforts are diffused if spread over a long VOTER TURNOUT AND VOTER CONVENIENCE period of time. Also, his specific criticism of Oregon’s vote-by-mail system, quoted earlier, takes a different tack than many of the studies that have focused on increases in turnout within the state. 8 • Increases in turnout from mail voting come from a greater retention of sometime-voters rather than the attraction of new voters. In their study of Oregon’s vote-by-mail elections, Berinsky, Burns, and Traugott observed a modest increase in turnout, but found that it came primarily from higher rates of voting among occasional voters, not from the attraction of nonvoters to the polls.

But given the reporting problems inherent in such a massive undertaking, it was necessary to change and update the survey data to give a fuller state-by-state picture. Primarily, this was done by seeking out new or revised information from the states themselves, but it also required other adjustments to the numbers. Some changes to the EAC data were reclassifications. This study is particularly focused on how much voting occurs outside of the traditional election-day polling place, how much of that is absentee voting, and how much is early voting.

Even though absentee and early voting have increased significantly, this very large group of states has not followed that trend. Still, it is likely that some will move out of the category in 2008. For example, Illinois and Maryland have enacted early voting, and if they follow the pattern of other states, they will generate over 15 percent of their votes from early voting alone. Category 2: High-Absentee States with Little or No Early Voting. Eleven states fall into the second category, with over 15 percent of their votes cast absentee and with less than 5 percent in-person early voting.

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