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The Integrity of Early Voting Analysis

There is much reporting on the amount of early voting numbers but what is being reported may not necessarily reflect the choice voters have made.  There are reports that about 20,000,000 voters have already made their decisions about this election and that a majority of them or at least a large percentage were Democrats.  Two things come to mind with this kind of coverage and reporting the facts.  In a primary you choose one party or another but in the general election you can vote for whomever you choose.  Just because you are a Democrat or Republican does not mean you are voting for a Democrat or a Republican based on your party affiliation.

Voting is supposed to be confidential until the ballots are counted after Election Day.  The media whenever votes are taking place regardless of whether it is a presidential election or a local one want to know how they voted.  While it is within the responsibilities of a journalist to report the news questioning the voters how they voted on the candidates or the issues should be discontinued.  The results of any election should be left to the results of the votes when they are counted.  Voters if questioned after making their voting decision (s) should resist this line of questioning.  I know in a presidential election it is an opportunity for the media to project who or what is winning and I understand this practice.  Projecting a trend or winner or leader in any particular state when the polls have not closed in all states across the country is doing a disservice to the country.  Individuals like to be part of a winning team and if it appears one candidate is winning voters sometimes tend to go with the winner when in fact the election is not over.

The media is once again trying to influence the election by misrepresenting the facts regarding voting decisions.  As mentioned above just because you are a Democrat does not mean you have voted for Democratic candidates for any office.  Our election process is supposed to be confidential with respect to the voting decisions made either in person or by mail in ballots.  Early voting statistics should be ignored by the general public.  Our voting decisions should not be based on what who has already voted but how we feel we should vote.  Every vote counts this year and every year regardless of on what or who we are voting.  Early voting results should not be available or even reported as it can lead to a misrepresentation of the facts and can influence the votes of others who have not yet voted.

This election year is like no other we have ever seen and the statistics currently being reported may not result in how the votes are cast come Election Day.  The statistics this year are fluid to say the least as they are constantly changing and last minute information can impact the final results.  Honest reporting of any information which may impact election results seems to be lacking.  Campaigns tend to put their spin on any information which may impact their campaigns but the facts stand on their own regardless of how the information is presented by campaigns.

One point to make regarding the above point of view is that when an investigation is being conducted in any election the details of the investigation cannot be identified without jeopardizing the investigation.  Candidates know this and should refrain from requesting the information be presented to the public.  I do agree the public has a right to know but only when the investigation has been concluded and the conclusion made as to the action or actions to be taken.  Some may say that this has nothing to do with early voting statistics yet in fact it does.  Trying to discount the impact of any issue during an election cycle is wrong and is a disservice to the voting public.

There are always going to be questions about any political candidate especially in this unusual election cycle and it is up to us as the voting public to make our decisions based on what we know about the character and honesty of the candidate (s).  No individual is perfect but it is a matter of choosing who is best to fill the vacancies on which we are voting.  We have critical issues facing our country this election year and the integrity of early voting statistics is questionable at best.  No one individual or organization can honestly predict how the public is going to vote for any candidate or on any issue.  Early voting statistics and their integrity should be taken as a point in time not how the results will end up when all the votes are cast.

 

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Dennis AuBuchon

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