A top priority of Democrats nationwide is to try to expand early voting even beyond the more than 40-plus million votes that were cast on days other than Election Day in 2012 or by mail. The present system balkanizes and deprives our nation of the unifying value of one nation on Election Day.
The Democrats know that their massive use of early voting was a major factor that enabled them to pile up the winning votes to reelect Barack Obama. Obama enthusiastically supports early voting; he urged 10,000 fans at his campaign speech in Urbandale, Iowa to vote right now "starting Sept. 27 ... You don't have to wait until Nov. 6 to vote."
On the first day of the new Congress, the House Democrats showed what they think is really important by pushing (fortunately unsuccessfully) for a new federal law that would require 10 hours a day of early voting for 15 days before any federal election. The bill also would have invented a new voting "right" that no one has to stand in line more than one hour.
Republicans think the goal of voting reform should be honest elections, not convenience, plus maintenance of safeguards against voter fraud and coercion of voters.
Republicans want to make sure that only U.S. citizens can vote, that voter ID is used in every state, and that ballots from our armed forces abroad are really counted.
Early voting bypasses many safeguards for voting integrity such as having poll watchers from both political parties to monitor everything going on to deter polling place monkey business. It's expensive and nearly impossible to secure poll watchers for the many days of early voting that were allowed in Ohio (35 days) and other swing states.
Early voting is a liberal gimmick that disenfranchises Election Day voters by determining the outcome before Election Day and, contrary to liberal propaganda, early voting decreases overall voter turnout. Early voting increased substantially in Ohio in 2012, but overall turnout decreased significantly.
Early voting violates federal law, which for more than a century, has required national elections to occur on the same day. Early voting adds heavy costs to the taxpayers and to the candidates because it significantly lengthens the campaign.
Early voting is unfair because it prevents voters from changing their minds up until Election Day. Early voting encourages uninformed voting because many voted before the presidential debates were held.
Early voting makes campaigns more expensive; it lengthens the time period for advertising. It harms third-party candidates who lack a political organization to get out early voters.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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