I love the chatter about the huge early vote in states that have opened up balloting for the 2018 midterm election.
They say that more than 4.3 million Americans have cast their ballots already, signaling — perhaps, maybe, possibly — a huge increase in total vote turnout.
Excuse my skepticism, but I need to wait for Election Day to make that determination.
I detest early voting as it is. I prefer to vote on Election Day, standing in line, giving some semblance of the pageantry that goes along with voting.
I am likely to wait until Nov. 6 to cast my ballot in Collin County.
Experience tells me that a big boost in early voting doesn’t necessarily translate into a big boost in total turnout. These early-voting statistics tell me that it well might mean only that more voters are casting their ballots early than waiting until Election Day.
Oh, how I hope I’m mistaken this time around.
A big turnout at minimum suggests that Democratic and Republican “base” votes are energized to the hilt. Democrats want to seize control of both congressional chambers, but likely will have to settle for taking control of the House. Republicans want Donald Trump to continue his agenda and believe a GOP-controlled House will enable him to proceed without the fear of getting impeached.
Are these external dynamics going to fuel a huge midterm/off-year election turnout? That remains to be seen, quite obviously.
My belief for years is that representative democracy works best with more voters taking part. I hate the idea of letting someone else determine who sets public policy that affects all of us. I love voting for president … and for members of Congress, the Legislature, and for municipal and county government.
Still, I am not going to salute the expected huge turnout in this year’s midterm election.
At least not quite yet.