Voting is already underway in 32 states and the District of Columbia, including in some key swing states, with still one month, four debates and multitude of other campaign altering events that could take place before the election. In-person, through the mail or through an absentee ballot, CNN reports that as many as 40 percent of Americans will have already cast their vote before election day. While this process may make voting easier for the elderly or those working overseas in say the military, some have questioned what effect these "convenience" voting laws have had on our democratic process. In a column on the National Review Online, John Fund writes that these laws have negative societal, political and legal implications:
The growth of absentee and early voting also aids candidates with the biggest bankroll, because a campaign now needs the resources to mobilize voters to turn out not only on a single day but over a long period of time. It also means more advertising on TV and more money spent — things people tell pollsters they dislike about politics today.
In the days when Norman Rockwell used to paint Saturday Evening Postcovers showing people lining up outside churches and schools to vote, the idea was that we all should vote together. If you cast your ballot early or as an absentee voter, you were shirking your civic duty; you would do that only as a last resort. In our era of instant gratification and impatience, that notion might strike many as outdated.
But it is still in our laws, and we shouldn’t dispense with the notion of Election Day without a full debate. In 1872, Congress codified the idea of Election Day when it stipulated that presidential elections should be held on the same day throughout the nation.
Fund also notes the disservice these voting early practices have on hopes of having the most well-informed voters, as many cast ballots without hearing the full debate that a campaign brings them.
"Imagine if you had early voting in jury trials, in which some jurors could cast a vote before all the evidence had been presented in court," writes Fund. Fund joined "Real News From TheBlaze" Monday to debate with the panel whether these laws are really that big of a deal, and what affect they will have on the outcome this November: