How VBM is Screwing Up California’s Primary

Here’s a great article how the push towards Vote-By Mail in California is having serious impacts on the primary. Read the whole article if you have time, otherwise here’s the highlights:

California voters are likely to cast absentee ballots in the Feb. 5 presidential primary at an unprecedented level, with as many as 1 in every 2 voters mailing in their ballots. Election officials will start mailing the ballots on Monday — nearly a month before Election Day — and the first votes will be tallied soon afterward. That means millions of Californians will have voted long before Feb. 5, and if the presidential candidates want to reach them, experts say, they need to get cracking long before the last week before the election. It also means that this year California will have the longest general election campaign in its history.

And the conclusion:

“Moving the primary to Feb. 5 in the largest state in America with 13 media markets, including the second-most expensive, is not fair to most of the candidates, and therefore it’s not fair to the process,” South said.
Even though California’s absentee ballots go out nearly a month before the election, millions of voters will not get them until after the Iowa caucuses and, in most cases, until after the Jan. 8 New Hampshire primary. That means that, contrary to the original thinking in moving the primary to Feb. 5, the presidential campaigns can focus their efforts on the two smaller states — and not on California. Earlier attempts to move the primary had similar results.
“California’s been a month late, and it’s a month late again,” Quinn said.

Continue reading