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By John C. Fortier

American citizens as soon as accumulated at the first Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November to select the nation's leaders. Election Day used to be an afternoon of civic engagement whilst associates met on the polls after which forged their ballots. some time past twenty-five years, even if, the US has passed through a revolution in vote casting in contrast to whatever it has skilled within the first two hundred years of its historical past. we've got created a approach of many mini-election-days top as much as the most event.

Today approximately 1 / 4 of usa citizens vote earlier than Election Day, both by means of absentee poll or at early balloting areas. In 1980, just one in twenty citizens voted prior to Election Day. What has occurred? Has the benefit of absentee or early balloting compromised the integrity of the method and weakened a unifying civic experience?

In Absentee and Early balloting: tendencies, delivers, and Perils, John Fortier records the dramatic raise in absentee balloting and, extra lately, the meteoric upward thrust in early balloting. He examines the criminal and ancient purposes for adjustments within the balloting approach and the various adjustments throughout states. Fortier bargains his strategies approximately what the alterations have intended for the rustic and the place we must always move from the following.

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Extra resources for Absentee and Early Voting

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Html (accessed August 15, 2006). Early Voting Is Growing Even Faster than Absentee Voting. Absentee voting has been on the rise since 1980, with its rate more than tripling since that time. Early voting has more than tripled since 1996 (see figure 2-1). Beyond the data already cited, one other indication of the quick rise of early voting is how large a percentage of it is recorded when states offer the option in a presidential election for the first time. Tennessee, Florida, West Virginia, Arkansas, and North Carolina all showed rates of at least 15 percent in the first elections in which their residents were allowed to vote early.

For Maine, then, we took the percentages reported in the Census Bureau survey for early and absentee voting and projected them for the vote total of the state. In two other states, Kansas and South Dakota, there was a firmly reported total of votes cast before election day, but, for a variety of reasons, I believed that the breakdown of that number between absentee and early voting was not properly reflected. Here I used survey data to project the rough percentages of early and absentee voting in each state, and I confirmed them with calls to the secretary of state’s office and to several counties that painted the same broad picture.

In an early study, Eric Oliver found that liberalized absentee voting did lead to modestly higher turnout, but only when combined with party mobilization. When a party, in this case the Republican Party, tried to mobilize its voters to vote absentee, there was an increase in turnout. 43 44 ABSENTEE AND EARLY VOTING Liberalized absentee laws without such mobilization did not show such an increase. Specifically, when parties sent out pre-filled absentee ballot applications, recipients were more likely to register as absentee voters and more likely to vote.

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