As voters across the country head to the polls next week and election officials review their voting protocols, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law today released a new report detailing the benefits of early voting programs and offering recommendations to substantially improve our outdated election process. Based on extensive interviews with election officials and an analysis of state early voting laws,Early Voting: What Works proposes seven early voting recommendations that would improve the process for both voters and election officials, and provide more opportunities for citizens to cast a ballot. “Given the increasing demands on many Americans’ schedules, early in person voting adds important flexibility and convenience to modernize the voting process, while keeping elections safe and secure,” said the Brennan Center’s Diana Kasdan, author of the report. “It reduces the administrative burdens of the Election Day rush and helps bring our antiquated voting system into the 21st century.”
Election officials also strongly support early voting. “Early voters are happy voters, and Election Day voters are grumpy voters,” said Larry Lomax, who served as the registrar of voters in Clark County, Nevada, for more than 15 years and is now a member of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.
In contrast to a string of new state laws designed to restrict voting, at least 20 states considered proposals to start or expand early voting this year. These efforts are expected to continue in the next legislative session, with opportunities anticipated in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, among other states.