Piece of Mind: Vote Early, But Surely Not Often

Sep 15, 2020

By John Kanelis

Readers of the blog I write for my own pleasure know of my longstanding preference for voting on Election Day.

Well, I am going to say it here – and say it loudly – that I intend to vote as early as possible in this election. It is the “new normal” brought to us by the COVID-19 pandemic and by specious assertions of corrupt voting consequences brought about by all-mail-in balloting.

So, I have decided to forgo my longstanding dislike of early voting. I now intend to cast my ballot on Oct. 13 the first day that Texans can vote early for president of the United States.

I live in Collin County, so I intend to travel to Allen to vote at the Allen Event Center, a spacious venue that the county is going to convert into a voting center. We can practice “social distancing” at the Event Center to help prevent being infected by the coronavirus that has killed nearly 200,000 Americans.

I wanted to vote on Election Day. Conditions brought to us by the virus have changed everything. Millions of Americans want to vote by mail to avoid contact with others who might be carrying the virus. I am not a big fan of mail-in voting, but that has nothing to do with the idiotic notion that it breeds “rampant voter fraud,” as Donald Trump has alleged … without any foundation!

My preference for Election Day voting stems from my reverence for the relative pageantry of voting.

That is certain to change in the 2020 presidential election.

I am concerned about the sowing of fear that Trump is seeking to do with the electoral process. He is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden and obviously does not want to lose his re-election effort. So, he is stoking unfounded fear of mail-in voting.

Texas is unlikely to allow all-mail voting, given the state’s political leadership’s public belief in Trump’s view about “rampant” voter fraud. So, my wife and I will troop to the polling place on the first day of early voting. We are going to cast our ballots electronically. They will be logged into the system. They will be made ready to count on Election Night when the polls close.

What’s more – and I do not believe I am about to say this – I encourage other Texans to do the same thing. Vote as early as you can. This election really and truly might be the most consequential of our lifetimes and, thus, it becomes imperative that we ensure that our voices are heard.

John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, is also a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is now retired, but still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook, or his blog, Kanelis' blog for KETR, "Piece of Mind," presents his views, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff, or its members.

Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.