Politics & Policy

Down with Early Voting!

(File photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty)

GOP primary voters in Arizona did the Republic a great service last night: They demonstrated the idiocy of early voting and confirmed why it cannot be scrapped soon enough.

Real-estate tycoon Donald J. Trump won the Republican contest with 47.1 percent, as of this writing, with 96 percent of precincts reporting. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas followed with 24.8 percent of the vote. In fourth place, Governor John Kasich of Ohio took 10 percent of the ballots.

And, in third place . . . Senator Marco Rubio of Florida with 13.4 percent. Dr. Ben Carson took fifth with 2.7 percent.

These 16.1 percent of voters may have included diehard Marcoites and Carsonians who loyally stuck with their men after their candidates departed the race. However, the vast majority of these were probably early voters whose ballots had been dropped into precinct boxes as far back as Wednesday, February 24 — one month ago.

Most of those voters probably feel like fools today, having squandered as much as four weeks ago the opportunity to affect the three-way race among Cruz, Kasich, and Trump. Rather than allow citizens thus to make fools of themselves, America simply should catapult early voting atop the ash heap of history.

Instead — what a concept! — voters should vote on Election Day. On that occasion, they should choose from among the candidates who actually still are running for office. Protest votes should be counted, of course, if drop-outs still appear on ballots. However, such votes should represent conscientious objections, not the pathetic echoes of choices rendered meaningless by subsequent events.

#share#Voters who cast their ballots on February 24 knew nothing about the GOP debates on February 25, March 3, and March 10. They voted four days before Trump stumbled into hot water by very, very slowly distancing himself from the admiration of former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke. And, for whatever impact it might have had on their decisions, these voters were unburdened by knowledge of ISIS’s deadly attack on Brussels the morning of yesterday’s canvass and Tuesday afternoon’s stomach-churning disgrace: President Obama doing the wave with Cuban dictator Raúl Castro at a Havana baseball game, even as innocent Belgians bled and expired on gurneys after being attacked by Islamo-fascist scum.

Early voting also means that ballots sit around, night after night, in storage while awaiting tabulation. The reality of, or potential for, vote fraud is obvious and chilling. Over several weeks or even a month, ballots can get up and walk away, never to be counted. Conversely, corrupt ballots can be stuffed into unguarded ballot boxes in the middle of the night.

Even if nothing fishy happens, the mere suspicion of fraud can taint genuinely elected winners as the stale fruit of a shady system “manipulated by the 1 percent” or “manhandled by union bosses” — take your pick. Such doubts about the legitimacy of voting results can cast destructive shadows on America’s elected leaders and erode democracy, more swiftly than the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon.

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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