Absentee and Early Voting: Trends, Promises, and Perils

Overview

Americans once gathered on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November to pick the nation's leaders. Election Day was a day of civic engagement when neighbors met at the polls and then cast their ballots. In the past twenty-five years, however, America has undergone a revolution in voting unlike anything it has experienced in the first 200 years of its history. We have created a system of many mini-election-days leading up to the main event. Today nearly a quarter of Americans vote before Election Day, ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $3.95   
  • Used (7) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Americans once gathered on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November to pick the nation's leaders. Election Day was a day of civic engagement when neighbors met at the polls and then cast their ballots. In the past twenty-five years, however, America has undergone a revolution in voting unlike anything it has experienced in the first 200 years of its history. We have created a system of many mini-election-days leading up to the main event. Today nearly a quarter of Americans vote before Election Day, either by absentee ballot or at early voting places. In 1980, only one in twenty voters voted before Election Day. What has happened? Has the convenience of absentee or early voting compromised the integrity of the process and weakened a unifying civic experience? In Absentee and Early Voting: Trends, Promises, and Perils, John Fortier documents the dramatic increase in absentee voting and, more recently, the meteoric rise in early voting. He examines the legal and historical reasons for changes in the voting system and the many differences across states. Fortier offers his thoughts about what the changes have meant for the country and where we should go from here.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780844742472
  • Publisher: Aei Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Pages: 116
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

John C. Fortier is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he serves as the principal contributor to the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction 1

1 A History of Absentee and Early Voting 7

Absentee Voting in the Civil War 7

The Introduction of the Secret Ballot in the Late Nineteenth Century 8

The Introduction of Civilian Absentee Voting in the Early Twentieth Century 9

Absentee Balloting from World War II to the 1960s 11

Absentee Balloting in the 1970s and Early 1980s 13

The Move toward "No-Excuses" and Convenience Absentee Balloting 13

Oregon's Introduction of Vote by Mail 14

Permanent Absentee Ballot Status 14

Early Voting 15

Conclusion 16

2 The Extent of Absentee and Early Voting and Past and Future Trends 18

Absentee and Early Voting in the 2004 Election 19

How Much Absentee and Early Voting Occurred in 2004 22

Four Categories of States 24

Category 1 States with Little or No Absentee or Early Voting 24

Category 2 High-Absentee States with Little or No Early Voting 27

Category 3 High Early-Voting States 29

Category 4 Mix of High-Absentee and Early Voting 30

When Voters Cast Their Ballots in 2004 31

Substantial Increase in Absentee and Early Voting since 1980 33

Prior to 1980 33

The 1980s-The Beginning of the Rise of Absentee Voting 35

The 1990s-Continued Growth in Absentee Voting 36

Early Voting: The Rise in the 1990s 37

Early Voting Is Growing Even Easter than Absentee Voting 38

Conclusion 39

3 Absentee and Early Voting: Voter Turnout and Voter Convenience 40

Voter Turnout 40

Voting Absentee and by Mail and Voter Turnout 42

Early Voting and Turnout 45

Convenience in Voting 45

The Popularity of Voting before Election Day 46

Inconvenience as an Obstacle to Voting 46

Conclusion 49

4 The Pitfalls of Absentee andEarly Voting 51

Fraud and Coercion and Absentee Ballots 52

Susceptibility of Absentee Votes to Fraud 54

Absentee Ballots and Coercion 55

Role of Third-Party Intermediaries in Absentee Ballots 56

Disqualifying Absentee Ballots 58

Protections against Fraud for Absentee Ballots 58

Loss of Civic Day of Election 60

Voting before the Campaign Has Ended 61

Conclusion 61

Conclusions and Recommendations 63

The Effects of Large-Scale Voting before Election Day 63

Recommendations 66

General Recommendations 66

Specific Recommendations 70

Recommendations for Low-Absentee States 70

Recommendations for High-Absentee States 72

Recommendations for Early-Voting States 75

Recommendations for Mixed States 77

Final Word 78

Appendix I Absentee and Early Voting, 2004 79

References 87

Appendix II Voting Before Election Day (percent of total vote) 91

Notes 97

About the Author 105

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)