The Meridian Star
In 32 states and Washington D.C., voters have an advantage. In those places early voting is an option.
One of the advantages to early voting is that unforeseen circumstances, which may arise on election day, won't prevent a voter from getting to the polls.
In this day and age those unforeseen circumstances are more likely to happen than in the days when people not only lived in their voting precinct, but worked relatively close to it, too.
We are all busier now. Work may be an hour or more away. After work, the kids have to get to where they need to be. It's not always going to be possible to get to the polling place every election day during those 12 hours the polls are open.
For voters who know they will not be able to vote on election day in Mississippi, we have absentee voting, and the voter has to give a legal reason for not being able to vote on election day.
We might find voter apathy isn't as big a problem as it sometimes appears to be, if we let voters cast their ballots within a couple of weeks prior to an election, when it's convenient for them. We believe early voting also will cut down on the potential for fraud through absentee ballots.
If Mississippi is serious about protecting the integrity of its elections, as officials have stated in support of Voter ID laws, early voting is the next logical step.
We believe anything that makes the process easier for everyone to be involved is what's best for Mississippi.