Vote early and vote often is a generally tongue-in-cheek phrase used in relation to Election Day.
We are not encouraging people to cast more than one vote, but we do think Michigan should take a look at allowing voters to cast their ballots early.
The recent presidential election attracted long lines of Michigan voters due to a lengthy ballot that included six statewide proposals. Those long lines led to lengthy waits, which discouraged some voters from casting their ballots and created backups in the system.
One solution is to vote by absentee ballot, which allows a voter to fill out a ballot in the comfort of their own home, taking all the time they need to read over confusing proposals.
But only certain voters qualify for absentee ballots, including those age 60 and older and those with conditions that make them unable to vote at the polls.
Another solution is to open polls early, allowing voters to cast their ballots at select county spots up to a week or more before the official Election Day.
Michigan is one of just 15 states that don’t allow early voting. A majority of states allow early voting both in-person and by mail.
The problem is that early voting has become an intensely partisan issue. Democrats increasingly press for more of it and Republicans for less.
It’s sad. Our country is known for low voter turnout — yet, when we finally have a strong turnout at the polls, some were deterred by lengthy waits.
Early voting should be a bipartisan cause. Almost any move that encourages voting is a positive.
Political parties and our state legislators should put their clout behind developing an early voting system in Michigan. Voters deserve the option.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.