date Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 1:33 PM
subject Early Voting
You wrote on the Corner yesterday: "In Ohio, most dramatically, an individual can register to vote between September 30 and October 6, then immediately receive an absentee ballot. Existing and brand-new electors also can cast ballots at early-voting centers. This is a gourmet recipe for voter fraud."
I wonder, do you have any specific evidence relevant to voter fraud in Ohio right now? You cite an AP report that "Independent groups seeking to increase poor and minority participation also transported voters from places like homeless shelters, halfway houses, and soup kitchens," except that there's nothing inherently fraudulent about these particular constituencies exercising their constitutional rights, is there?
Since I suspect your fears are based in mere speculation rather than actual evidence, let me offer you some, first-hand: I voted yesterday in Ohio. And I voted on a paper ballot since the last thing in the world I'd trust with my vote is a Diebold touch-screen machine.
Let me alleviate your fears: the election officials here in Lorain County are checking state-issued photo IDs, they are checking home addresses, and they are taking their job very seriously; there is little way anyone who isn't supposed to vote is going to be able to.
You conclude, "early balloting assaults the notion of contemplative self-government." Puh-leez. Sure, undecideds should wait. But many of us have seen all we need to see and know all we need to know. By giving more people a greater window of opportunity for exercising the vote in their already overstretched lives, it's plainly clear that early voting encourages and enhances democracy.