Bob Stein of Rice University has been conducting research on early voting centers.
In a recent presentation at the AEI/Brookings conference on election reform, Stein suggested that voting needs to be thought of as a rivalrous good. Essentially, voting has to compete with other aspects of a busy life, including commuting to and from work, taking children to school, and shopping at the mall or grocery store.
Therefore, Stein argues, election officials should establish early voting centers at locations that are not close to individual’s homes (as in traditional polling place voting), but along convenient transportation paths.
Stein will like this story in the Orange County Register. The two most popular voting sites in Orange County are John Wayne Airport (established to be used by business travelers) and The Shops at Mission Viejo (presumably a large local shopping mall).
Trains, planes, automobiles, and voting. If Stein is right, we’ll consider these all together in the future.