This week, Maryland began its first election with early voting. The recently passed early voting laws in Maryland allow for voters to cast ballots in-person up to ten days prior to the election (not counting Sunday.)
The technical distinction between absentee voting and early voting is that with early voting you are not required to have an excuse for not voting on Election Day. Also, early voting is typically performed using the same method as Election Day voting, rather than on an absentee-type paper ballot.
Early voting is an attempt to address significant problems facing elections today. Allowing voters to cast their ballot early alleviates traffic and lines at the polls. Also, allowing a greater time period to vote will almost certainly increase overall voter turnout simply because it may be more convenient. Texas has even allowed “curbside voting” during early voting, a process where, if you call in advance, you can get a poll worker to bring the ballot to your car as you arrive at the precinct (only for those who have difficulty walking or standing for extended periods, of course.) I, for one, support the use of Applebee’s Carside To Go technology on Election Day. Continue reading