Congressman Proposes National Early Voting Holiday
November 3, 2008
CNN Politics-As early voting has jumped in popularity, so has the call been made by a couple congressmen to have a national early voting day to help expand voting turnout.
Early Voting in Most States, Fuels a Push for a Nationwide Law
The historic election is expected to fuel congressional support for a law that will allow voters to cast early ballots without providing an excuse, as some states require an excuse for absentee voting. In many states that require a reason for early voting, mail-in voters must provide election officials with a formal excuse explaining why they cannot vote on Election Day. They often must obtain signatures from notaries or physicians before they can be granted a ballot.
"It is almost certain that after the election there will be legislation proposed in the next session of Congress that will mandate no-excuse absentee balloting nationwide," said Paul Gronke of the Early Voting Institute. "This will especially be the case if Democrats take the White House.".
California Cogresswoman Proposes Nationwide "No-Fault Absentee Balloting, Dems Push for Early Voting Holiday
"It offered everyone a chance to choose the time that they can vote -- where they wouldn't have to worry that they will have to leave a child or loved one or miss work -- whatever keeps people from voting within certain hours on Tuesdays," Davis said.
Twenty-eight states now allow voters to cast absentee, mail-in ballots without providing an excuse, and in California, voters can automatically have their absentee ballots sent to their homes for every election. The convenience of early voting -- either by mail or in person -- allows voters who can't spend hours waiting to vote on Election Day to participate in the democratic process.
Two Day Election Day Proposed As a Solution
New York Democratic Rep. Steve Israel is sponsoring a bill that would designate elections as a two-day weekend event in November which has been a solution argued by academic scholars studying politics and elections.
"It's crazy to me that we're only allowing people to vote over a certain period of hours on one day," Israel said. "Other nations that have much higher voter turnout allow their people to vote over several days." .