As of this writing, Election Day is still 10 days away, but I don’t care because I ALREADY VOTED. That’s right, I voted early. My absentee ballot is signed, sealed and delivered. I’ve already done my part to end Donald Trump’s political career and put America’s democracy back on the path to vaguely dissatisfying normalcy and somewhat-lower levels of self-harm.
You should vote early too! Most states allow voters to sign up for an absentee ballot to vote by mail or vote in person at early voting polling places. According to FiveThirtyEight, between 30 and 40 percent of all votes for president will be cast early this year.
Here are several other reasons why you should vote early and get your vote counted long before Election Night:
1. Avoid the Crowds, Beat the Rush
As a work-at-home writer who doesn’t have a commute or an office or co-workers or a “real job,” who has somehow arranged his life in such a way that I never have to set an alarm clock or show up “on time” for anything, the idea of voting on Election Day is a nightmare. I really hate having to show up at places or stand in lines or wait for things to happen. I especially hate waiting around in boring public places, like hospital waiting rooms and airports and bus stops. Voting on Election Night is like the democracy equivalent of riding on Greyhound: sure, maybe there’s a fleeting sense of camaraderie and human fellowship about it that can be appealing, but in your heart of hearts you know you’d rather be home in your pajamas.
2. Defeat Voter Intimidation
Trump has threatened to send his supporters out to monitor polling stations and intimidate minority voters on Election Day. (I doubt that this will happen; not because Trump supporters aren’t racist and violent-tempered, but because they’re a bunch of disorganized idiots who are really bad at getting things done.)
But imagine if every single Democratic voter had already voted by Election Day! What if there WERE no voters waiting in line at the polls for Trump’s thugs to intimidate, because they all voted by mail and were home on Election Night chilling with a beer and watching the results on TV? By voting early, you can avoid Trump’s voter-intimidation hordes and save yourself precious time and energy on a weeknight. Instead of going to the polls, go to a bar! Have a beer! Toast to democracy!
3. Help Your Campaign
If you vote early, you are doing a favor to the campaign; and you might even be more likely to be taken off the campaign calling lists. Political campaigns constantly get updated data and voter lists to see which of their targeted voters have already voted; so the sooner you vote, the sooner your campaign’s hard-working organizers can stop worrying about following up with you to encourage you to go to the polls. Voting early is like making a small in-kind donation to your favorite candidate; instead of making them wonder if you’re going to show up on Election Day, your vote is already in the can.
4. If You Die Before Election Day, Your Vote (Maybe) Still Counts!
Death comes to us all, but death doesn’t have to stop you from making your voice heard on Election Day! If you send your absentee ballot, and then suffer an untimely demise before Election Day, depending on which state you live in, your vote still (maybe!) counts.
Different states have different rules for whether to count the absentee ballots of deceased voters, but many states count the votes, while other states count the votes as long as the county auditor has not updated the voter rolls by Election Day to reflect the latest deceased voter names.
So whether you’re terminally ill or just love to live a reckless, impulsive lifestyle, go ahead and send in your absentee ballot! Vote like there’s no tomorrow!
5. It Feels Really Good
Dear God, this election has been a goddamn nightmare. It feels like the 2016 presidential campaign has been going on longer than I’ve been alive. I even GET PAID to write about politics, and I’m STILL sick of this damn creeping national brain death of an election.
I can’t wait until Nov. 9 gets here and Trump is finally out of our lives forever, relegated to running a sleazy, low-budget right-wing propaganda network with the production values of a 1990s local access cable show. I can’t wait for Hillary to become the first woman president, so Congress can start subjecting her to the same insane personal attacks and conspiracy theories and relentless obstruction that they’ve dished out during the last four terms of male Democratic presidents.
I just want this election to be DONE so we can all get back to normal and stop feeling like civilization itself is at stake, like the fate of the world itself depends on our vote. We’re Americans, damn it! We have the right to be lazy and self-indulgent and disinterested in politics! Vigilance is the price of liberty, but it’s a pretty exhausting price, and I’m getting tired of paying it. Can’t we all just hang out and watch TV and stop shouting at each other on the Internet? Sure, I make a big show of being this actively engaged, politically astute, liberal Internet guy with a big vocabulary and a penchant for Prestige Television or whatever, but deep down, I just want to wear pajama pants and drink beer and eat garbage food and watch stupid TV obstacle course game shows where people repeatedly fall into water.
Vote early, and you too can disengage from the futile frenzy of American political life! Let’s all wear comfy pants and stare off blankly into space! Make America Lazy Again!
For more information on how to vote early (by absentee ballot or in-person; different states have different rules), check out this state-by-state list from Vote.org.