EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 14, 2012

Column: Early voting deflates value of Election Day


Somehow, most everybody else knew that it was a terrorist attack, complete with non-spontaneous heavy weapons. And now, even the State Department has said there was no demonstration at all before the attack.

If that had happened under a Romney presidency, Democrats would be screaming, “Lies! Lies!”

But if those voters have already cast ballots for Obama, their change of mind doesn’t matter.

This is not a call to eliminate early voting. Obviously, there are some people for whom getting to the polls is difficult to impossible. But they are likely a tiny fraction of the electorate – surely less than 5 percent.

And even that ought to be compressed to a couple of weeks not a month or more. Those who care about voting can certainly mail their absentee ballots or do whatever needs to be done in that time frame.

Yes, a single election day is an arbitrary point in time. But, it is the ultimate in equal treatment. It requires everybody to “play by the same rules,” which Obama ceaselessly claims is his guiding philosophy.

If the day is not important, then why limit the voting window to a month or two? Why not let people vote whenever they feel like it? Why make them wait until after the conventions, when the candidates have been chosen well before that?

Election Day ought to have major national significance. With four of ten voters ignoring it, that is a dangerous dilution of significance.

Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net

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