Vote now(?)

So as the following points out, as much as 35% of the votes cast in the presidential election this year will be cast BEFORE Election Day.  Why is this a good trend?  What’s the downside?   Do you think that the large number of voters casting their ballot early will have an impact on the outcome of the election?

9 responses to “Vote now(?)”

  1. roryblock1 says :

    The large number of early voters will certainly have an impact on the campaigning in these last few weeks. Presumably, most of these early voters have known who they are going to vote for since the early days of the election. You could call them “die-hards”. They’re voting early because nothing else that happens will sway them. After all, the presidential debates haven’t even happened yet, and the candidates aren’t likely done advertising.
    This is a good trend for the candidates because they will be able to focus on the “swing” voters during these crucial last few weeks. Assuming that many die-hards have voted, they will no longer need to campaign or focus on those people. So the campaigning and advertising may change. This could also be a bad thing–deciding how to campaign for the “middle grounds” while still staying true to their die-hard followers (who can’t ALL have voted early).
    Finally, I think that the end results won’t be changed enough to matter much. What this will result in is a different style of campaigning and possibly a different approach to the presidential debates to come.

  2. Liz7 says :

    One of the largest problems with our electoral system is the lack of people who show up to the polls and cast their vote. In the last 2008 presidential election only 58% of those eligible voted, meaning nearly half the country had no say in the presidency. If voting early means higher voting turnout; then this is a very good thing. But these early voters are missing out on a lot of information that will be available in the coming month. The presidential and vice presidential debates offer voters to see how candidates will respond to criticism and analysis – something that is veiled in Conventions and speaking tours. Whether or not this will have an effect on the election depends on the campaign methods of Romney and Obama. If they choose to focus all facilities on swing voters and attempt to appeal to their moderate views, they could end up alienating their support base. Alternatively, if they campaign as if only election day matters, luring the 20% in the middle will be impossible. Either way, Romney and Obama should always prioritize with those who have not yet voted, as they are the only ones who will bring them the presidency.

  3. govrobin1 says :

    As a representative democracy, an essential component of our government is how many people take part in the elections held in our country. If people don’t vote, the elected representatives are not necessarily representing the needs and concerns of their representative population. If people choose to not vote, that’s one thing; but if early voting can allow for more people who would like to reach the poles make that a reality, then it can only be a positive. You have to be wary of the fact that voting early might not be the best decision for someone who is on the line or capable of voting on November 6th because without seeing some of the crucial presidential debates you won’t be able to apply what you learn from these debates in your vote. It is difficult to know how early voting has affected the outcome of the election because as Michael McDonald stated, we don’t know if their vote would have changed in the time period between the casting of their vote and election day. Overall however, I think that early voting is a great opportunity to allow as many people to vote as possible and take part in the American democracy as we select our president for the next four years.

  4. Kunaal7 says :

    Early voting is often a convenience for voters, but it may be a bigger advantage for candidates. It enables them to deploy money and personnel efficiently as they work to capture their votes. By not having to waste campaign resources on those who have already casted their ballots, the campaigns can focus on non-early voters in the critically important final days. As for the voters, they do not have to be swayed by last minute campaigning and media noise; rather they can vote as per their choice and time. While early voting is a convenience for some, it’s a necessity for others. As for the relatively few undecided and swing voters, research indicates that this group is less likely to vote early. State after state, evidence has shown that the number of voters did not increase even though they were given the ability to vote early. I do not think that that early voting will make a big enough impact in this year’s election, or give one candidate a big enough advantage to change the result. For most of the voters, early voting certainly increases convenience, but it clearly does not result in any more people going to the polls, which makes you wonder what all the fuss is for.

  5. andreaj7 says :

    The percent of voters casting their ballot early will have a great impact on the outcome of the election. As previously stated, the voters who cast their ballots in early are voters who have had an unwavering certainty of who they want to become the next president of this country. Once the early voting closes, the candidates will have an easier time focusing their campaigns on those undecided voters, and can save both time and money from campaigns directed towards the fervent supporters. In this case, early voting will change each campaign strategy. As for the effect of early voting on the population, I think it is beneficial to have as many opportunities to cast a vote as possible. Those citizens who do not vote may become more aware of voting opportunities with early vote casting. However, if someone who usually does not vote decides to participate in early ballot casting, the results may be negative for the candidates.

  6. Carolyn4 says :

    If 35% of votes for the 2012 election are cast before election day, I think it is evident that our society is turning a blind eye on both candidates. When voters cast their votes early, they are essentially stating that they don’t care what is said in the debates or about anything that might happen in the next month. What if a huge scandal regarding Obama or Romney suddenly presented itself? What if, in the debates, one of the candidates changes their platform to fit a more radical, or more moderate, group? Basically I’m trying to say that a LOT can happen in a month. A lot can happen in a day (as we’ve seen on this class news page)! It’s clear American early-voters have chosen to be ignorant of what either candidate has to say. We’ve been talking in class about how much of America is uneducated about the campaigns, or simply ignorant. Allowing for early voting encourages both types of people to check off a name, and be done with the election. I personally think that if you are going to vote, you should be a little more patient and hear more about who your future president is and what they have to say in the next month.

  7. Kalyn7 says :

    I agree with Kunaal, early voting could really be beneficial for the candidates. Voting started today and the debates don’t start until tomorrow and frankly, it is impossible to predict what will happen over the next few weeks. To be honest, I’m hoping for another Al Gore style debate, complete with lots of sighing and bronzer, but that’s beside the point. With candidates on opposite sides of the political spectrum (and a population that rests in the middle), any tiny i gaffe could sway lots of voters.
    That said, there are major downsides to early voting for the voters. What if (and this is COMPLETELY hypothetical) tomorrow Barack Obama is accused of murder but due to a technicality it can’t be proved? I know plenty of people who would be turned off by the prospect of a president who allegedly killed a man, but if I already cast my vote for Barry, I may have just helped a murderer become one of the most powerful men in the world. I would definitely be kicking myself for that…
    That said, I think that early voting by mail is necessary for a lot of reasons, but it is up to the voter to weigh the pros and cons of deciding without as much information as possible. Given the choice, it’s just safer to wait until November 6th

  8. Jen1 says :

    35% doesn’t surprise me. If most partisans of a particular party usually vote for that party’s candidate, why are we surprised they locked in their vote early? In opinion, early voting has a minor impact on the election results. I believe more of those who vote early already made up their mind and little can be done to sway these voters anyway during the span of the voting period. Early voting is slightly beneficial, as it potentially increases voter turnout if individuals cannot vote on Election Day. It also can’t really get the balling rolling for either candidate because of the Electoral College system, only winning the states count, not the popular vote. However, early voting can be seen as slightly incontinent. Voters might cast their ballot on an impulse prematurely, giving up their vote before all campaign information is processed. Chances of that happening are not extremely high, and most of those voting early, I don’t think, can easily be swayed. The eventual conclusion here is that early voting ultimately would not significantly benefit a party or candidate, but there’s no harm in doing it either.

  9. Lizzie1 says :

    I think this trend shows the importance of the debates, and campaigning in the months before the election. Since the early voting starts around debate time, first impressions could be long-lasting, and cause people to cast their votes early. The large number casting early definitely has an effect on the election because it allows easier access for voters, meaning more people can vote/it is more convenient. If the early process were less complicated, it could simplify the entire election.

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