David Applegate '78 Opines on Problems with Early Voting
Excerpted from blog.heartland.org:
As practiced in Illinois and a number of other states around the nation, early voting lets a voter who doesn’t want to wait for Election Day to cast a vote at the polling place starting some specified time in advance of the election, usually several weeks. At least in Illinois no special reason is needed to vote early, although as the President of the United States recently discovered while voting early during a recent fundraising trip to Chicago, Illinois does require a photo ID to do so. It’s certainly convenient for those who, say, work as election judges outside their home precinct or are out of town on Election Day, and I have used it myself for the same reasons. But it’s a bad idea for the future of a democratic republic because it takes us further and further away from a democratic republic and closer and closer to mob rule.
Elections are intended to express the political will of the people, but we don’t live in a direct democracy. Instead (at least in theory) we have a representative government in which eligible voters vote to elect legislators, executives, and in some case judges who will make, enforce, and interpret the law. Except for federal judges (who are appointed and have lifetime tenure during “good behavior”), these officials generally have fixed terms and in some cases are term-limited (the U. S. President, for example, and governors of some states, although not U. S. Representatives or Senators). Implicitly recognizing the truth of Lord Acton’s famous dictum that power tends to corrupt and that absolute power corrupts absolutely, the framers of the U. S. Constitution set up this system to divide power at the federal level as much as possible and the states have generally followed suit.
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