Finding the Time and Place to Vote

  • Martha E. Kropf
Part of the Elections, Voting, Technology book series (EVT)


Early voting—or allowing voters to vote in person before Election Day—has been allowed formally at least since 1988.1 The idea behind early voting was that if voting times were more convenient, it would reduce the opportunity costs of voting. In other words, potential voters would not have to take off work (or give up other activities) in order to vote. If one examines newspapers covering the policy discussions, one can see that the goal of early voting was to increase voter turnout, not necessarily to relieve the pressure of long lines on Election Day, but it did not hurt that early voting might relieve long lines. For example, in North Carolina in January 1996 (about four years before North Carolina began to implement its one-stop voting— North Carolina’s name for early voting), one can see that no-excuse early voting was one of many proposals being considered to “cure voter apathy” and “boost turnout at the polls.”2 There was bipartisan excitement by the year 2000. Political reporter Jim Morrill quoted the Mecklenburg County Republican Party Chair Frank Whitney as saying: “Voter turnout always determines an election, not the polls … I have a feeling (early voting) will increase overall voter turnout.”3


Voter Turnout Polling Place Electoral Institution Potential Voter Vote Center 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha E. Kropf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

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