A digest of early voting stories from the past week.
- Blackvoice News (a California based online news and information service) voices the oft-raised concern that voters are opting for absentee ballots because they don’t trust electronic machines.
- Voters in Huntsville, Ontario rejected a proposal for all voting by-mail
- Sheila Kennedy, an associate professor at Indiana University, Indianapolis, opines that voting by mail would solve current problems in our election system (and incorrectly attributes Oregon’s high turnout completely to voting by mail).
- The Hamilton, OH Journal News has an interesting story about how rising numbers of absentee balloters changes campaign strategies. See also this commentary by Steven Hill of the New America Foundation (originally appeared in the LA Times) on how early voting may increase campaign costs.
- The Athens County (OH) News details problems with vote counting machines, particularly high speed machines that were supposed to count absentee ballots, but worked poorly and delayed the release of final numbers.
- Randy Shultz of the Palm Beach Post editorial staff agrees with me that a solution to voting problems might be making election day a long weekend or a holiday (see my comment in the Nov 2nd. Economist [subscription required]).
- A great story from the Salt Lake Tribune on the first early voting election in Utah. I was particularly interested to see a claim from party officials that the rapid release of early voting results (1/2 hour after the Utah polls closed) “energized voters nationwide.”
- An excellent article in the Weekly Standard discusses the pluses and minuses of early voting. The usual suspects (Gans, Fortier) are there, with a special appearance by Adam Berinsky, who co-authored one of the earliest and best articles on early voting in Oregon.
- This Naples News story is one of dozens that report on the dramatic rise in absentee and in-person voting among states that recently adopted these reforms. The Florida Times-Union, however, reports a different problem with early voting: it slows the count (in Jacksonville’s case, it tripled the number of memory cards that had to be processed).