We support our Publishers and Content Creators. You can view this story on their website by CLICKING HERE.

Brad Smith, the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Professor of Law at Capital University Law School in Ohio, is an expert on federal election law (having served as chairman of the Federal Election Commission at one point), and moreover a certified Power Line reader. He has a good Twitter thread up today on the matter of early- and mail-in voting that is sober and sensible:

I believe that we should have options for absentee and early in-person voting for those who need them. However, voting on election day should be the presumptive norm.

Here’s why we should be discouraging absentee voting and encouraging in-person voting on election day: 

Absentee balloting is more prone to fraud. Fraud is rare, but it is more common among absentee ballots.  Absentee ballots are more likely to be rejected due to voter error. Most ballots will be counted, but there is a higher rejection rate for absentee ballots. 

People who vote in person report a higher degree of confidence in the legitimacy of the election and electoral results.  Early voting and no-fault absentee voting have not been shown to increase turnout. Absentee balloting creates greater opportunities for coercion, intimidation, and influence, and can jeopardize the secret ballot.

Early in-person voting creates more opportunities for misconduct (deliberate or accidental) by election officials and increases the burden of protecting ballots and voting equipment from tampering or damage. It places extra pressure on chain of custody procedures. 

Early voting raises the costs of campaigning with little or no corresponding benefit.

It is good for voting to be a public act (secret ballot, but public act). It is good for us to have a day where we come together to participate in the great act of self-governance.

“A person who must go out of his or her way to vote is likelier to pause for reflection. A voter who stands in line with his or her fellow citizens at a polling place is likelier to keep their needs—and, more important, the common good—in mind.” – Greg Weiner. 

Again, we should have options for absentee and early in-person voting for those who need them. However, voting on election day should be the presumptive norm.