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Vote Early!

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All over the country, people have already cast their ballots in the midterm elections because their states allow early voting.

Highlights

If your state is one of them, I urge you to do get out and vote this week, even if there's no reason that you can't vote on Election Day. 

At the special website Priests for Life has established, www.ElectionsCalendar.org, voters can find out the rules and dates for early voting in their states.

Some of the races in Congress are so close that a few hundred votes could shift the balance of power. 

You and the people you know, people you are friendly with in church, your social media followers and your cell phone contacts list can mean the difference between electing a pro-abortion politician or a lawmaker who understands that the most fundamental right is the right to life.

Please keep in mind that 166 Democrats who are running for re-election voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act when it came up for a vote in the House in January 2018. Think about that for a minute: They voted against a law that says once a child survives an abortion, and is living and breathing outside the mother's body, the baby must be taken to a hospital for care. Democrats in Congress who voted against this bill do not deserve your vote no matter where they stand on any other issue.

(It is simply hard to fathom how they " or anyone who claims to be a civilized human being with a conscience " can take that position. You can find out how your member voted here).So as for early voting, how did it come about?

Early voting started at the beginning of our nation's history. People who had to travel long distances to get to polling centers had more than one day to do so, especially to accommodate difficult weather. 

In 1845 Congress passed a law calling for Election Day to take place annually on the first Tuesday following the first Monday of November. One of the motives was to prevent people from voting more than once.

During the Civil War, members of the military who could not get home to vote would have family members vote by proxy, and more provisions began to be made for the military to send in absentee ballots directly to the election centers.

As time went on, the ability to use absentee ballots was granted also to civilians, when reasons of travel or illness prevented them from showing up at their polling place on Election Day.

A more modern option is "no-excuse" early voting. In other words, a voter can vote before Election Day for any reason at all. In 1980, the state of California pioneered this process by letting voters cast mail-in ballots early, even if they would have been able to vote on Election Day.

In the East, such "no-excuse" early voting began to be permitted in person. Special polling places were designated for early voting, which would start a number of days or weeks before Election Day. Courts upheld the practice and decreed that states can allow early voting but that the votes cannot be counted until Election Day. This is where we stand today.

A state may (but doesn't have to) allow no-excuse early voting, either in person or by mail, and if it does permit it, the state (or in some cases the county, city or town) will determine what day it begins and what day it ends. We have a calendar at www.ElectionsCalendar.org. The benefits of voting days or even weeks before Election Day are many. 

For one thing, it helps to make obsolete the "October surprise" " those breaking news stories that come out with damning information about a candidate at the last minute that may, or may not, be true. Early voting means that someone who is going to release such information would have to do so sooner " and that give fact-checkers more time to examine the claims, and the candidates more able to defend themselves.

Those who run political campaigns are aware that people in many states vote early " in some states, a third or more of the votes cast come from early birds " so the campaigns make sure to get important information about their candidate or competitor out sooner, rather than later. And they may stop sending you solicitations if they know you've already voted.

Early voting also makes it more likely that nothing " not a hurricane, tornado or earthquake; not the sudden onset of the flu or an emergency that calls you out of town " will interfere with your responsibility to cast your vote.

And an early voting season extends the amount of time during which you can mobilize other voters. Senior citizens are reliable voters, but sometimes they need a ride. Maybe you think one or two votes surely won't matter, but in elections with so many races as statistically close as they are this year, every vote really does count.

On Facebook Live and EndAbortion.TV, I have been giving a series of classes every night at 9 p.m. ET, and repeated at  10 a.m. each day, to talk about a variety of election-related topics (See the schedule of topics and view past episodes at www.ProLifeMAGA.com).  

Over this past weekend, I spoke about early voting and asked people to help me reach the people who I can't reach but that they can. I am asking the same of everyone reading this.

Don't wait till next week. Do what you can now. Let's not lose this opportunity


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Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

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