For a campaign bulging with cash, these challenges do not pose significant problems. But for one with little money to burn, the rise of the absentee voter is especially problematic. A multi-tiered and precisely timed strategy sustained over a month requires a lot more logistics, planning and scheduling, which necessitates more highly paid professional staff. All this increases the amount of money needed to run an effective campaign, which in turn complicates campaign finance reform, said Rob Richie, executive director of FairVote, a nonprofit organization devoted to political reform.
Some political scientists worry that spreading voting over four weeks disperses the public’s attention and diminishes the importance of a centuries-old ritual of going to the polls, a communal act that arguably is a cornerstone of American democracy.
“In an increasingly atomized and fragmented America,” said Curtis Gans of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, “there are probably two major communal acts left — sharing fireworks on the Fourth of July and voting with one’s peers on election day. We sacrifice these vestiges of community at our peril.”
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