The Republican war on voting has mostly been focused on voter ID campaigns as a tool of Democratic voter disenfranchisement, but lurking in many of those restrictive laws are provisions that severely curtail, or eradicate all together, early voting. Why would Republicans want to do that?
Because they’re losing.
As Talking Points Memo reports, early voting has already started in the critical swing state of Iowa and will start soon in Ohio and nearly half the rest of the states. With the election about a month away and voters already casting votes, is the election already over? From TPM:
“I am forecasting in this election cycle that about 35 percent of the vote will be cast before Election Day,” George Mason University professor Michael McDonald, who researches early voting behavior, told TPM. “We know 78 percent of all votes in Colorado were cast prior to Election Day in 2008, and it probably will be around 85 percent in 2012. The election will essentially be won or lost before Election Day unless it’s a tight, narrow, razor-thin margin.
Election watchers expect more than one-third of the votes nationwide to be cast during early voting. That means some voters will have already cast their vote before the first of the presidential debates and while both candidates are still actively campaigning.
The move toward more Americans voting before election day continues a pattern from the 2008 election. In 2008, approximately 30.6 percent of the electorate voted early. In battleground states like Florida, Nevada and North Carolina those percentages were much higher, at 51.8, 66.9 percent and 60.6 percent respectively.
The easier it is for Americans to exercise their right to vote, the more Americans will do so. And plutocratic Republicans understand that is a math that does not work out in their favor. In response, they’ve unleashed an anti-democratic campaign designed to restrict, as much as possible, American’s free exercise of that most fundamental right. But I suppose that is what happens when your only concern is holding onto power and privilege.
Photo from Muffet via flickr.