If Super Tuesday proved anything — I mean other than the fact the Democrat Party is the party of enfeebled white men with racist pasts filled with stupid wars, terrible trade deals, and serial young girl-touching — it proved just how stupid early voting is.
Super Tuesday was held on March 3. Nevertheless, here’s when people began casting their votes…
Tennessee: 20 days early
North Carolina: 20 days early
Minnesota: 46 days early
Massachusetts: 15 days early
California: 29 days early
Colorado: 15 days early
Maine: 30 days early
North Carolina: 20 days early
Oklahoma: 5 days early
Texas 15 days early
Vermont: 45 days early
Including Oklahoma, where voting began only five days early, on February 27, people were casting their Super Tuesday votes prior to the most consequential events of Super Tuesday (and of the entire Democrat primary race so far): Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, and Amy Klobuchar dropping out of the race after Joe Biden’s blowout South Carolina win on February 29.
In Minnesota, where early voting started all the way back on January 17, there were 1,755 people who wasted their votes on Andrew Yang, who dropped out February 11 — three full weeks before Super Tuesday. Another 41,508 wasted their votes on Klubachar, while 7,627 went with Buttigieg.
That’s close to 50,000 wasted voted in Minnesota alone.
In California, where early voting started on February 3, a whopping 30,370 voted for Yang, 82,568 voted for Steyer, 95,748 voted for Klobuchar, and 192,778 went for Buttigieg. That’s around 400,000 completely wasted votes.
In Texas, where voting began on February 18, about 150,000 votes were wasted.
Okay, if you want to be pedantic about it, maybe some voters liked the dropouts enough to vote for them anyway, even after they dropped out. That number had to be awfully small, though, because people who think that way generally stay home rather than go through all the trouble of casting a fruitless vote.
So far, I’m only talking about 100 percent wasted votes on people who dropped out… What about events?
What I mean is, how many of the 1.7 million who voted for Mike Bloomberg on Super Tuesday were early voters, and how many of those voted prior to his disastrous debate performance in Las Vegas on February 19?
How many voted for Bloomberg early under the false assumption he was their only choice after Biden’s campaign appeared to be in full collapse prior to his amazing comeback in South Carolina?
What’s especially notable about this is that the decision Klobuchar and Buttigieg made to drop out was a strategic one. They wanted to stop Bernie Sanders and felt exiting the race was the only viable way to meet that goal. But by then, look at all the votes that had already been cast for them. In total, around 430,000 people wasted their early vote on Buttigieg, while around 275,000 did the same with Klobuchar.
Early voting truly is a stupid idea. Even if you want to ignore the glaring potential for fraud, the time allowed to manufacture identities and the like, it is still a terrible idea.
I get the idea behind it: early voting decreases the long lines of same-day voting, and not everyone is able to carve out the hour or hours necessary to vote on a particular Tuesday. It just seems to me that a better way would be to expand the number of polling places on Election Day and/or start early voting on the Saturday prior to that Tuesday’s election.
Sure, most of the responsibility for all these wasted votes falls on those who thoughtlessly voted early, the voters themselves who should know better. But the government should not be encouraging this thoughtlessness, especially during a primary where people tend to drop out.
But general election early voting is just as dumb. Things happen. Politics is wildly unpredictable. During the 2016 presidential election, disgraced former FBI Director James Comey reopened his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email after people had already voted. How many of them regretted casting a vote for a candidate who was suddenly under investigation by the feds?