For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Erik Opsal, 646-292-8356,

Seven Early Voting Ideas to Improve Outdated Election Process

Early In Person Voting Reduces Stress on the Election System and Provides Greater Access to Voting, Report Finds

New York, NY - As voters across the country head to the polls next week and election officials review their voting protocols, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law today released a new report detailing the benefits of early voting programs and offering recommendations to substantially improve our outdated election process.

Based on extensive interviews with election officials and an analysis of state early voting laws, Early Voting: What Works proposes seven early voting recommendations that would improve the process for both voters and election officials, and provide more opportunities for citizens to cast a ballot.

“Given the increasing demands on many Americans’ schedules, early in person voting adds important flexibility and convenience to modernize the voting process, while keeping elections safe and secure,” said the Brennan Center’s Diana Kasdan, author of the report. “It reduces the administrative burdens of the Election Day rush and helps bring our antiquated voting system into the 21st century.”

Election officials also strongly support early voting. “Early voters are happy voters, and Election Day voters are grumpy voters,” said Larry Lomax, who served as the registrar of voters in Clark County, Nevada, for more than 15 years and is now a member of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.


Never Miss a Beat.

Get our best delivered to your inbox.

In contrast to a string of new state laws designed to restrict voting, at least 20 states considered proposals to start or expand early voting this year. These efforts are expected to continue in the next legislative session, with opportunities anticipated in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, among other states.

The five primary benefits from effective early voting programs identified in the report include:

  • Reduced stress on the voting system on Election Day;
  • Shorter lines on Election Day;
  • Improved poll worker performance;
  • Early identification and correction of registration errors and voting system glitches; and
  • Greater access to voting and increased voter satisfaction.

Today, early voting laws vary substantially state-to-state and even across local jurisdictions within states. Although a number of states have already recognized these benefits and are adopting or expanding their early voting programs, voters in many states are still required to rearrange their schedules and wait in line on Election Day to participate in the political process.

Based on extensive research, the report recommends that all states and local jurisdictions implement the following early voting policies to expand the benefits of early voting nationwide:

  • Begin early in person voting two weeks before Election Day;
  • Provide weekend voting, including during the weekend before Election Day;
  • Set minimum daily hours for early voting and provide extended hours outside standard business hours;
  • Allow use of both private and public facilities;
  • Distribute early voting places fairly and equitably;
  • Update poll books daily; and
  • Educate the electorate about early voting.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on fundamental issues of democracy and justice. Our work ranges from voting rights to redistricting reform, from access to the courts to presidential power in the fight against terrorism.

Share This Article

More in: