Unintended consequences?

More and more voters have been casting their ballots by mail in recent years. In some precincts in California, voting by mail was the only option. Now a study of the differences in voting preference between vote-by-mail and Election Day voting in the California primary has showed that the method of voting may change elections. Vote-by-mail ballots tend to be voted in two big clumps. Some people vote as soon as they get the ballot, others wait until almost Election Day to vote. In the February primary, those who voted earliest often cast a ballot for John Edwards, who later dropped out of the race. The same was true for Rudy Guliani. Where would those votes have gone if the voters had known Edwards and Guliani were leaving? No one knows for sure. If the time comes when most people vote by mail the timing of election campaigning, publicity, and debate schedules may be changed to catch the people who vote early. Or perhaps ballots should not be sent out so early? There are some vexing questions to consider before the next presidential election rolls around.

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