December 13, 2008
Back in 1776, Pennsylvania took the pioneering step of dropping the requirement that a voter must own land. In the 19th century, the state claimed one of the earliest known absentee-voting laws. In more modern times, however, the state has fallen behind some of the trends toward expanding voter access. Perhaps the most important such effort is toward discarding the idea of a single Election Day. In many states, elections take place across weeks and months. That's happening in two ways: by allowing voters to cast absentee ballots at will, and opening the polls for voting before Election Day. With both approaches growing in popularity, preliminary estimates suggest that a quarter of Americans voted for president before Election Day this fall.
January 13, 2012 |
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida presidential primary is on, with voting well under way - even though Florida doesn't hold its GOP nominating contest until Jan. 31. And both Mitt Romney, coming off back-to-back victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul are aggressively reaching out to voters who have requested ballots. None of their competitors has been nearly as active even though the victor in Florida would get a huge boost of momentum and all of the state's 50 delegates to the national nominating convention.
April 25, 2013 |
TRENTON - Joanne Nyikita is all for early voting, just not the way it is set up in a bill sitting on the governor's desk. Nyikita is superintendent of elections in Burlington County, and in the weeks before a presidential election, she says, she and her staff work 15-hour days, seven days a week, registering voters and making sure things run smoothly. By in effect adding two weeks before the election during which voters can cast their ballots, she said, the state would vastly increase the work of already overstretched county election boards.
November 10, 1992 |
You can already tell that the media - those villains, those arch-fiends, those ceaseless perverters of truth - have got it wrong. They're calling the yet-to-be-born Clinton administration "Camelot with a Southern accent. " If I hadn't sworn I'd never use that hackneyed, tired cliche-of-the-year "Not!" that's what I'd stick in here. (Have I been covering politics long enough to have it both ways, or what?) Anyway, John Kennedy may have been young Bill Clinton's first political hero, but Bill Clinton is no John Kennedy.
August 29, 2004 |
Voting is no longer just for Election Day. Millions of Americans - perhaps as many as 20 percent of voters - will cast their ballots before Nov. 2, as states ease absentee-voting rules and political parties and interest groups change their electioneering strategies. This transformation means, depending on one's perspective, the rise of a modern, self-service democracy or the demise of one of the nation's last communal rites. The shift also means that many voters will cast their ballots unaffected - or uninformed - by late-breaking developments.
November 6, 2004 |
Pennsylvanians may get the chance to vote early, though not often, if state politicians have a say. The snaking, hours-long lines that plagued many polling places on Election Day have led to calls for change. Gov. Rendell has said he would like to see early voting to reduce crowding and other election challenges. If the state legislature amended the Election Code to allow early voting, polls could open before Election Day. About two dozen states already have early voting.
May 21, 2013
Recognizing that modern Americans' lives are hectic and that civic participation levels are inadequate, most states have adopted early-voting measures that help people fit in-person voting into their busy schedules. But Gov. Christie is pretending that people in New Jersey don't have to pack the kids off to school, go to work, fix dinner, do chores around the house, and then try to find the time to vote. He recently vetoed a bill that would have allowed them to cast ballots in person at a limited number of polling places for the two weeks leading up to Election Day. But Christie couldn't come up with a good reason for his veto, so he winged it. His veto message asserted that the state has actually had early voting since 2009.
February 12, 2009
SOMEDAY soon, voting in Pennsylvania could be as easy as it is in Iraq. A bill allowing early voting is making its way through the state Legislature. State Rep. Babette Josephs wants to amend the state constitution to broaden the number of people who can vote with absentee ballots. Right now, only a small number of people - military personnel, the elderly, those too sick to leave their homes, and those with jobs requiring them to travel on Election Day - are allowed to vote absentee.
October 8, 2010 |
WASHINGTON - Of all the Democratic incumbents seeking reelection this year, Iowa Gov. Chet Culver is among the most vulnerable. As of Friday, though, he was assured of at least one vote - his own. "That's one down, about 550,000 to go," he said at the Polk County auditor's office, where he cast his ballot early. Iowa is one of 13 states where votes already are being cast in the midterm elections - a month before Election Day. In the coming weeks, 18 more states will begin early voting, which becomes more popular with each election.
November 2, 2006 |
Today is Election Day, as was yesterday and the day before. Many Americans will vote well before Tuesday, and while the convenience of choosing your day to vote is appealing, convenience should not be the only rule by which we run our elections. In 2004, nearly 25 percent of Americans voted before Election Day, almost 15 percent by absentee ballot and an additional 8 percent at early voting polling places. In 1980, absentee ballots were cast by only 5 percent of voters, and early voting at polling places was nonexistent.