As NBC News reports, if you count early voting and absentee voting, close to half the nation can vote starting today.
This is a problem for several reasons.
1. It doesn’t work. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin demonstrated that early voting can actually depress turnout. In fairness, they believe same-day registration (which I would oppose for ballot integrity reasons) is a much more important key to increasing voter participation.
2. Voters are casting ballots before they have all the information.
In October, there will be three important presidential debates. But Americans who vote today can’t take their votes back if they learn some disqualifying information between now and November 6. And even if the candidates don’t introduce new information or commit some sort of gaffe, what if the world changes? (Four years ago today, for example, John McCain had not yet suspended his campaign to focus on the financial crisis.)