Monday, November 06, 2006

Advance Voting: the early bird doesn't get the worm

This is disturbing. The trend of releasing advance vote participation rates is going to soon be followed by releasing advance vote results. For various ethical reasons - persuasively articulated by Dennis Thompson - this is a bad idea.

I've written a little bit about advance voting in Canada and I think that the benefits of it are fairly unclear: it hives off part of the electorate from a potentially important 10 days of campaigning, it decreases the coherency of the mandate conferred by the election, and it doesn't seem to increase turnout. And while election results wouldn't yet be different in the absence of advance voting, you can bet that the potential for that (in Canada at least) would definitely increase if we started reporting exit polls from early voting. I have a nice paper on this for anyone interested.

For those not interested, check out this guy. He must be one of the the most productive academics going. This guy, as well. And check out these guys. They're mystery men, but given the productivity of their blog I will suggest they are slightly less productive academics than Bostrom or Fowler. But aren't we all? Alas.

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