Early voting allows voters to begin casting their ballots days or weeks prior to an election. In Yolo County, early voting began on Oct. 6 and continued up until Nov. 3.
This year the different early voting polling places – notably the Memorial Union – noted a much higher turnout than in previous years, with lines of people constantly wrapped around the MU.
This display shows just how important early voting is. Making voting more convenient increases the likelihood of high voter turnout. Each election brings its own stories of citizens somewhere waiting five hours in the cold and rain in order to vote. Early voting stations help fight this unfortunate occurrence. It is especially convenient for college students who, between class and work, might find voting on a specific day difficult to work into their schedule.
In a perfect world, early voting stations would be more plentiful, especially in Yolo County. While the early voting station at the Yolo County Elections Office in Woodland was open from Oct. 6 until Nov. 3, the early voting station at the MU only allowed early voting from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3.
Early voting polling stations would make voting easier for Davis residents who don’t visit the campus regularly even though many Davis voters are UC Davis students and employees. Yolo County also includes West Sacramento, which did not have its own early voting place.
These problems aside, early voting was a huge success both in the county and the state. This practice should be adopted in the states across America that don’t currently allow for this. Early voting increases the ease and frequency of democratic participation and should be strongly encouraged.