Schlafly’s Terrible Arguments Against Early Voting


Phyllis Schlafly has a blog post and audio message about why early voting is a terrible, horrible, no good idea. The headline — Early Voting is Unfair to Voters — should tip you off that she’s about to spew some really, really bad arguments on the subject.

Early voting prevents voters from changing their minds up until Election Day.

Right. Because I’m sure Phyllis herself was torn between Romney and Obama right up until the last minute and needed every second to make up her mind. Does she think people are going to go and cast a vote early if they’re unsure of who they want to vote for?

Early voting encourages uninformed voting because last year many voted before the presidential debates were held.

Again, I’m sure that Schlafly was glued to the presidential debates because she was seriously considering voting for Obama. Right? If not, this argument is bullshit. And there’s no way in hell she ever considered for a millisecond voting for Obama.

Early voting is unfair because it makes campaigns more expensive by lengthening the campaign period and calling for more advertising.

So early voting is bad because many voters make up their minds early, and it’s bad because the campaigns have to work to keep convincing voters. And the premise is absurd; the campaign period is exactly the same length regardless.

Contrary to liberal propaganda, early voting decreases overall voter turnout.

Uh, why? How could it possibly do that? Who decides not to vote that would have otherwise voted if only there wasn’t any early voting?

Early voting harms third party candidates who lack a political organization to get out early voters.

Which applies equally well to every single facet of an election. Third party candidates can’t turn out voters any better on election day than they can a week before election day. By her “reasoning,” we should cancel election day too.

Early voting is a misnomer. More accurate names would be premature voting, uninformed voting, or political machine voting.

The overwhelming majority of people know who they’re going to vote for long before the election. If that is uninformed voting, so is their vote on election day. Voting early doesn’t make it any less uninformed.

Early voting even violates federal law, which for more than a century has required national elections to occur on the same day.

Notice she doesn’t cite the actual law. There’s a reason for that.

Early voting disenfranchises Election Day voters by determining the outcome before Election Day. What if jurors were allowed to decide they are tired of a lengthy trial and want to convict a defendant mid-way through the trial and go home? Isn’t it just as important for voters to hear all the facts about candidates before voting?

Still a ridiculous argument the third time she uses it.

Comments

  1. gopiballava says

    Weren’t early voters skewed towards Obama? I think I see where she got the idea that early voters were uninformed. If they were informed they’d have voted for Romney.

  2. yoav says

    And I’m sure ol’ Phyllis will follow up on her objection to early voting by insisting that election day is declared an official federal holiday so employers can’t hold their employees from voting by denying them time off and on opening thousands of additional polling stations all over the country, especially in densely populated urban areas, to make sure that the lines don’t grow too long with all voters trying to vote on the same day, right? Yae sure.

  3. Ulysses says

    Shorter Schlafly: Liberals do more early voting than conservatives. I want to limit opportunities for liberals to vote.

  4. tbp1 says

    You know, you could put almost any word or phrase after “Schlafly’s Terrible Arguments” and be accurate.

  5. says

    (And also, I don’t recommend clicking on the link. I get a security warning asking if I wanted to run an application from that site. I did, by mistake, and now I have a beehive hairdoo and a bitter, bitter hatred of liberated vaginas. True story)

  6. yazikus says

    I love mail in voting. I wait for a Sunday morning, sit down with the voter guide pamphlet and my ballot and a cup of coffee with my partner, and slowly and methodically go through every issue while enjoying a leisurely and thought provoking political discussion. It is awesome. I especially enjoyed the line about “dismantling the imperialist presidency” from Rocky Anderson.

  7. says

    Early voting encourages uninformed voting because last year many voted before the presidential debates were held.

    I thought early voting was maybe a week or so before elections. Was there actually early voting multiple months ahead of the election?

    Not that it really matters. Apparently personal responsibility doesn’t enter the equation here.

  8. says

    Contrary to liberal propaganda, early voting decreases overall voter turnout.

    If this was even remotely true, Schlafly would be all for early voting

  9. kylawyer says

    @1 Yeah because voting for the party whose base believes Obama is a Kenyan, Communist Muslim and that the world is 6000 years old is very informed voting.

  10. imthegenieicandoanything says

    Schlafly and her brainless offspring show that there’s BIG money in being evil, however stupid you may be.

    Of course, your life will be unhappy, every precious second, and you will never have a moment’s peace, but you’ll die knowing you had a lot of money in the bank, and your existence harmed many ordinary human beings much, much happier than yourself!

  11. laurentweppe says

    voting for the party whose base believes Obama is a Kenyan, Communist Muslim and that the world is 6000 years old is very informed voting.

    Conservative voters are as much informed as liberal voters. It’s the centrust block which is filled with people with zero political culture, hence why they are always the main target of campain rethoric: they’re the only people susceptible to believe it in the first place.

    The “Kenyan, Communist Muslim” refrain is simply a rallying cry to every people who think “Democracy sucks because our guy did’nt win” but who know better than saying so in public.

  12. John Hinkle says

    Contrary to liberal propaganda, early voting decreases overall voter turnout.

    Liberals, that monolithic group that speaks with one voice, are going to say, “What?!? But we thought early voting actually increased democratic party votes. Gosh were we wrong. Thanks Phyllis for pointing that out to us. You’re so smart. We better lobby to eliminate early voting!”

  13. Larry says

    Early voting disenfranchises Election Day voters by determining the outcome before Election Day.

    Much in the same way same-sex marriages destroy heterosex marriages. Besides, just because you dropped off a ballot at the courthouse a week before the election doesn’t mean it’s opened and the votes tallied before the polls close on election day.

    Me thinks Phyllis is full of, how you say, shit.

  14. peterw says

    I voted on Oct. 10th or 11th (Oct. 9 was the earliest day to vote early) and it was great – I was relaxed for the rest of the election season, feeling like I’d taken care of a chore that would otherwise have been hanging above my head. This was before the 2d and 3d presidential debates, but they wouldn’t have changed my mind anyway.

    Plus, when people asked me if I watched the debates, I could respond, “No, I’ve already voted.” :-)

  15. Amphiox says

    Suppose, just for a moment, that Shafly’s arguments here are actually correct.

    So, to protect citizens from making foolish decisions, the state, according to her, should use its coercive power to limit those citizens’ freedom to make such choices. FORCE them all to vote on just one day!

    Can anyone say “nanny state”?

    The cognitive dissonance coming out of the right wing these days stupefies. It is almost orchestral.

  16. Ichthyic says

    Conservative voters are as much informed as liberal voters.

    if you change that to misinformed, then you could honestly say they are even more so.

    So says the research on fox news adherents, who were found to actually be significantly MORE misinformed than people who never watch the news on TV.

  17. thebookofdave says

    She left out possibly the single reason of greatest concern to her: early voting hands a ballot out to too many single moms, working poor, and brown people. I wonder how she could have overlooked that.

  18. says

    Early voting encourages uninformed voting because last year many voted before the presidential debates were held.

    Since when do political debates have anything to do with informing voters?
    Choosing a candidate based on their debate performance is almost always* ridiculous.

    *exception: when candidate whose long-stated positions you back tears off fake face in front of camera to reveal they they are actually a lizard-alien.

  19. drizzt says

    Phyllis on election day :
    Some son of her «Here’s my voter card!» Going to vote see ya mother! Go Obama!
    She sits on her chair…
    Another son calls in «Hi mom! Washington State here! Gonna vote for gays”
    Heart attack and reanimation…
    Reanimated :
    a daughter comes to her «Hi mum, just voted Obama”

  20. Abdul Alhazred says

    You all are very much like Phyllis Schlafly in one particular: You think your vote matters.

  21. Michael Heath says

    Abdul Alhazred writes:

    You all are very much like Phyllis Schlafly in one particular: You think your vote matters.

    My vote does matter.

  22. says

    “Conservative voters are as much informed as liberal voters.”

    Demonstrably untrue.

    Unless, and only unless, you mean genuinely conservative voters. In that case you could take a census of passenger pigeons, dodos, ivory billed woodpeckers and unicorns and come up with a few “possible sightings” but no actual extant specimens.

    Those people currently defined as “conservatives” by media and most other folks are reactionaries.

  23. Michael Heath says

    Abdul Alhazred writes:

    You all are very much like Phyllis Schlafly in one particular: You think your vote matters.

    My response:

    My vote does matter.

    I assume Abdul Alhazred is responding to me, it was undirected towards anyone:

    Any evidence of that?

    Or do you know that by faith?

    I never employ faith, ever, it’s a juvenile characteristic; I suggest you discard using it as well.

    My vote matters because when we vote, the township I live in has these machines we feed our ballot into and it does this thingy called, “counting”. My vote and that of other voters are then summed-up where the results dictate what is then executed, i.e., my vote matters.

    In addition there are processes in place to validate the integrity of the voting process. That process is not defect-free, few if any human-engineered processes are. The integrity of the electoral process is analogous to how one defectively manufactured automobile doesn’t mean humans can’t build automobiles, we instead now whether our vote counts based on the integrity of the voting process relative to the results and their distance from the margin of error of that process.

    Electoral results where I’ve voted are almost always within the margin of error of the process, with my being aware of one exception when it comes to my vote. That was the 2000 Bush v. Gore election where I was a Florida absentee voter and the results were well within the margin of error regarding the integrity of Florida’s electoral process. So while Mr. Bush won the state of Florida, we can’t empirically and convincingly validate which presidential candidate had the most votes in Florida, or Ohio in 2004 for that matter where I was by then a Michigan voter who voted for Sen. John Kerry – where my vote mattered given Sen. Kerry won the state of Michigan in 2004.

  24. Ichthyic says

    Any evidence of that?

    Or do you know that by faith?

    strangely, YOU were the one making the initial claim there, Abdul.

    do you have personal evidence that your vote, wherever you are, does not matter?

    if so, is that evidence comparable and extendable to everyone who votes, anywhere, on anything?

    yeah, I thought not.

    *yawn*

  25. John Horstman says

    @28: Ooh, a fun troll! Let’s see, in 2012, my vote for president counted as 1/3,056,802th of those responsible for assigning 10 electoral votes, so it was 1/82,533,654th of the outcome of the presidential election. Considering the US population of 313,914,040 in 2012 (projected based on population trends and the 2010 census), though not all of those people are of voting age, the extent to which my vote for president counted actually overrepresented me by a factor of at least 3:1. Proportionally, it counts for even more in statewide, countywide, and municipal elections, though the overrepresentation factor may not be consistent (I don’t really have time to track down the relevant numbers for each category just to respond to a troll).

  26. John Horstman says

    For anyone in danger of actually taking Abdul Alhazred’s statements seriously, let me just say that simply because one’s action is not both necessary and sufficient (in this case, my vote was necessary but not sufficient) to achieve a desired outcome does not mean that one has no impact on that outcome (there’s a well-known metaphor involving straw and camels that illustrates the idea).

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