“Political Ignorance and Early Voting”

Ilya Somin:

Some conservative commentators – including co-blogger Eugene Kontorovich and John McGinnis, and former Justice Department voting rights specialist J. Christian Adams, have recently criticized early voting, on the grounds that it exacerbates the problem of political ignorance.

I agree that widespread political ignorance is a serious problem. But I doubt that early voting makes it any worse than it would be otherwise. As leading voting rights scholar Rick Hasen points out, social science research shows that early voters are, on average, better-informed than those who vote on election day. They also tend to have stronger partisan loyalties, and are therefore unlikely to change their minds based on last-minute election ads or news developments….

But, although I agree with Hasen that conservative critiques of early voting are overblown, I think he goes too far in this part of his argument, versions of which are sometimes advanced by other liberal commentators…

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