RobKelner.com: Over the last decade, operatives in both political parties have quietly agitated to change state laws in order to permit early voting. These efforts gained traction, and many states now allow citizens to cast their vote days or weeks early. In a few states, voting in the general election will begin this year a full six weeks before election day. A small coterie of critics have warned that early voting is a threat to our political system. This year may be the year that the threat materializes, revealing the serious unintended consequences of early voting laws.
Originally, Democrats were the ones who pushed for early voting, thinking it would help them mobilize working class and lower income voters who might be less likely to turn out to vote on a single Tuesday. After initial opposition, Republicans came around to the view that they too could exploit early voting by spreading their get-out-the-vote activities over time, compensating for the perceived advantage held by Democratic urban machines in turning out masses of voters on election day. As a result, this year, millions of voters will cast their ballots early. This may make it easier for Donald Trump to seize power. And it will make it more difficult for a lesser known, independent or third party candidate to gain traction in time to challenge the deeply flawed candidates expected to be nominated by both major political parties. Read more.