Millions of Americans are given a single day to vote: Tuesday — a work day, when voting is inevitably squeezed in among errands and jobs. The result is long lines at the end of a business day and mistakes made by overwhelmed election officials.
Too few voting machines and poll workers also contribute to long lines and millions of lost votes, especially in districts with higher numbers of African-American and Latino voters. Compounding these challenges are poorly designed ballots, which can cause confusion and lost votes — potentially tens of thousands every election year.
We need more opportunities to vote. Every state should offer early in-person voting a minimum of two full weeks before Election Day, including weekend and evening hours. Early voting and clear ballot design ease polling place congestion on Election Day, which improves poll worker performance and voter satisfaction. Early voting allows for earlier correction of registration errors and voting system glitches, while well-designed ballots can prevent errors and confusion in the first place.