Early Voting is the Real Game Changer
More than 3 million North Carolinians cast their votes early this year- almost half of registered voters. This led to less crowding and delays on Election Day. Despite how beneficial early voting is, hours are short and there aren't many polling sites. With the high demand for early voting sites, it only makes sense to find a way to extend hours and add more polling places in 2018.
Still, given the obvious demand for early voting, the extra effort appears justified.
Perhaps, when it comes to voting, we need to think more outside the box.
What, exactly, is sacred about the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November? According to historians, the custom dates from the early 1800s, when farmers often needed an extra day or two to travel to the nearest poll.
Other democracies cast their ballots on Saturdays and Sundays, to encourage maximum participation. Other countries make Election Day a public holiday.
For now, however, two things are clear:
1. We need longer early voting hours and more days, not fewer.
2. We need more early voting locations.
It's time to start thinking about 2018.