Democrats have always been the party of early voting. That's fitting, considering early voting is a joke, just like the Democratic Party. But now, thanks to the result in the recent Montana congressional race, some on the left may be rethinking the whole early-voting process.
Voting is something most Americans take for granted, if we think about it at all. But to citizens of many countries around the globe, it is a high honor and privilege. Recall the celebrations and elation of the people of Iraq who triumphantly waved their purple ink-stained fingers in the air. It was a sign of their first ever opportunity to vote in a free election, where no one was guaranteed 99 percent of the vote. (The other 1 percent was never heard from again.)
Many who taste their first opportunity to vote will walk through a wall of fire and have literally dodged hails of bullets to do so. Can you imagine any American doing such a thing? Of course not. It's a privilege, like any other in America, which we have been afforded for so long, that we treat it as we treat other entitlements that can't ever be taken away.
Today, that privilege of deciding our own fate – going to the polls on Election Day – has been become insignificant. Forgetting to vote seems no more important to many than forgetting to pick up milk on the way home.
Although it was not classified as "early" voting, in the 1970s, California was the first to adopt a kind of early-voting system, called "no-excuse" absentee balloting. For a couple of decades it was the only state interested in the concept of early voting. It wasn't until the 1995 ouster of Sen. Bob Packwood (technically, he resigned), that Oregon held the first statewide all absentee vote by mail. Mail – how quaint. What were they – cave people?
Still, the early-voting craze did not catch fire until the contentious presidential race of 2000, between George W. Bush and Earth's best friend, Al Gore. Democrats from Gore down to the state and district level in Florida did their best to steal the election, but they just couldn't pull it off.
It was said by some on left that the 2000 election was proof that Election Day-only voting was just too chaotic. It would wiser to allow for early voting. As liberal Paul Gronke, a professor of political science at equally liberal Reed College and founder and director of the completely partisan Early Voting Information Center said, early voting would reduce "the pressures on election officials on Election Day" and "the likelihood of long lines or polling place problems." It was after that when states began to enact laws to allow for early cheating, uh, I mean, voting.
In 2016, 37 states and the District of Columbia allowed early voting, and over 36 percent of voters (and others) took advantage. In some cases votes were cast almost a month ahead of time. As we just witnessed in Montana – a lot can happen in that month's time, leading some voters to regret the decision to vote early.
We constitutionalists have never been fans of early voting. It promotes opportunities to cheat and otherwise game the system, which is why Democrats are all for it. My personal view is that you have two years, minimum, to plan to vote on Election Day. Most polls open at 7 a.m. and stay open until 8 p.m. If you can't find the time to stumble into a polling place on that day, frankly, you don't deserve to vote.
Some on the right are wondering, now that the Montana congressional seat remains firmly in Republican hands, if the left might just rethink its position on early voting.
To this I'll say – not likely. The left can't win elections unless they lie, cheat and steal. We know it, as do they. There are only so many people the Dems can bus to the polls on Election Day without raising red flags. It also requires a lot of time and money to work out the logistics of rounding everyone up on that one day. No doubt they've found it cheaper and easier to abuse the system by utilizing early/absentee voting.
Yet even with all the opportunities to cheat, the left still cannot win. Progressives know that without early voting, they would likely be blown out in every election. There is no way they give up their one way to keep it close.