If we are going to have early voting, let's do it right!

In some long forgotten thread about voting, I advocated for early voting for a variety of reasons. I am very glad to see that it has been more widely adopted, and I hope it will continue to expand in the future.

However, I see opportunities that are being missed.

What I would like to see, for the two weeks leading up to election day, is counting and reporting of votes totals as they come in. I believe this would serve to generate greater interest in participating, and increase voter turnout. This would allow candidates to adjust and target their efforts in the final days leading up to the official “election day”. By having real-time feedback candidates would better know what’s working and what isn’t. In our current system, the only actual feedback (not pollsters) comes with the election outcome.

This would also give the media the opportunity to create breathless reporting for an extended period of time. People would be glued to their TV/Twitter/Reddit/etc. for weeks. Nothing would get accomplished! (OK, maybe that’s not a good thing, but that is what would likely happen).

Would this be something you would like to see?

Do you think this might be an eventuality with the expansion in early voting?

Or is this something that should NEVER EVER HAPPEN!

Do it right?

You’ve just demonstrated how it would be done completely wrong. Timing of when certain voters will get to the polls would just turn into another political game, to be manipulated to discourage the opponent’s voters from turning out. It’s sick and crass. And a terrible idea.

I don’t see that effect as a deal breaker. I think that kind of playing would help motivate more people to vote, which I see as a positive.

If it looks like a landslide developing at the top of the ballot, many will not bother That could affect down-ballot races.

I cannot support your idea. Early voting yes, but keep the results secret until the polls close.

How would you respond if 100% of registered voters voted on the first day of early voting, in a precinct? Why wait?

Because other precincts are going to be voting for the same candidates. Yes, a close race might motivate them, but a runaway might discourage them. You say “why wait?” I say, why not wait?

There are certainly problems with our system. I don’t see any of them solved or even reduced by this proposal.

I love early voting, I don’t understand why more people don’t do it. Why purposely wait until the last day so you can go stand in a line, especially if you already know who you’re voting for and aren’t likely to change it. In fact, the past few elections I did absentee voting. They mail a ballot to my house, I fill it out and mail it back. Coudn’t be easier.

Having said that, I’d personally like to see no results until the end. I’d rather have no idea who’s going to win until the next day rather than having people motivated to vote for the sole reason of being concerned that the other person is taking the lead. And as was mentioned, if you’re candidate is likely to lose, you may not bother.
It’s fun to watch and all, but it probably has a negative effect overall and makes it much more easy for the media to manipulate people.

Early voting is a method of last resort. Too many things can change, like a candidate strangling a reporter, in the days right before an election. In most cases there is no method to change an early vote, this usually results in a double vote (which Republicans will call felony voter fraud).

It also makes it easier for political operatives and nefarious folks to tamper with or “lose” your ballot between when you vote and when the election happens.

Early voting is great for people who cannot make time to vote on election day, but if you can vote on election day, you really should.

In a related note, no vote should ever me allowed without a permanent paper ballot as backup. Arguments for digital early voting always overlook this.

I’m not sure I understand the question. My response is either:

  • sounds like you are describing Election Day; or
  • if 100% of voters voted on this day, then I did too, so my behavior can’t be affected.

Who gets into an office shouldn’t depend on who’s “adjusted and tailored their efforts” better to appeal to the local electorate. It should depend on:

  • Whose goals the electorate approves of
  • Who’s most competent to achieve those goals

…for whatever mixture of right goals/most competent is desired by the voters in question

Therefore, I would never designed to relatively advantage people with more skills in campaigning. It just decreases the chance that you’ll get someone good at their actual job.

Forgive me for saying so, but this sounds like an enormously optimistic viewpoint. That train left the station years ago, if it was ever there at all.

Most voting happens based on tribal party identification. Some small portion is driven by how good someone is at campaigning. Some other small portion is driven by choosing the most competent to achieve goals.

Our current system depends on candidates adjusting and tailoring the efforts on a daily basis based on external and internal polling, as well as talking to voters and constituents (money people). What I am suggesting is that, since early voting exists, provide the numbers as actual real-life feedback (rather than just internal and external polls).

Why should we as a society be doing politicians any more favors?

We already have campaign finance system that’s basically corrupt. We already have virtually no consequences for politicians telling outright, black-and-white lies. We already have a revolving door that essentially rewards politicians who can’t keep their jobs with tons of money as lobbyists in their next career.

Now we ought to help them fine-tune their closing arguments? What’s next, Braveheart-style primae noctis?

Circling around to another question -

Is there anything preventing this from occurring now? Are there regulations in place that require that ongoing votes are not counted or reported until the polls close?