Ohio allows early voting (sort of maybe if the Secretary of State allows it?) thirty-five days before the election. Because I am a shameless political hack, I knew exactly who I was voting for when the 2012 presidential race began in 2009. (Mitt Romney, obviously.)
I voted in Dayton, which Lewis Black once called “Detroit’s little brother.” That is unfair, because Detroit is kind of awesome and has Miguel Cabrera, and Dayton is the birthplace of the Incredible Hulk. Well, Bruce Banner; the Hulk was borne out of Banner’s psychological trauma and exposure to a massive dose of gamma radiation, which kind of happened in multiple places but mainly New Mexico.
I did not vote in New Mexico. Yet.
The early voting process was incredibly smooth, and remarkably social. Mainly, this was because 80-90% of the people who showed up were black, with their Democratic Party sample ballots, so for the most part people just had to point out the motherfuckers they were voting against to friends and family.
Let me tell you something: elderly black women have the best reasons for hating Republicans. And white people generally. I could just listen to them for hours.
The main thing you overheard at the Board of Elections wasn’t necessarily excitement about voting. It was anger about perceived efforts to suppress the vote. Well, that and black people talking to each other in weird Obama-style black voices, like they all wanted to be in a Daily Caller exposé in five years. And they do.
There are some who would say that early voting damages democracy because it allows people to vote before all the information is in, which is a really, terribly stupid argument for people who choose to vote early. If you know the people for whom you are voting (and most people do at this point, because American elections take slightly longer than the entire evolution of mankind from a single-celled organism), and/or don’t care about the rest of the races – uncontested county coroner races demand contemplation! – then early voting is a way of administering a system that otherwise has the potential to get overloaded and is often inconvenient for voters otherwise. If you really don’t feel like you have the information or knowledge necessary to vote early, nobody’s holding a gun to anyone else’s head.
Well, except the New Black Panther Party. But it’s actually just a lighter they found at a thrift store. And it doesn’t work.