Early voting in Tennessee starts on Thursday. I know that some on the right are contending that early voting equates to fraud. But the logic escapes me. I have yet to find any confirming evidence. Those that argue fraud also argue that if voters cast their ballots before election day, that there is no chance that opinions that might change at the last minute will be reflected. This, of course, has nothing to do with fraud. I for one always vote early. I live in a district with high voter participation. On election day, the lines are long throughout the day and the wait is long. To avoid this inconvenience, I vote early. It is my impression that most of us early voters will not be swayed one way or the other by later breaking news - the fabled October surprise. We are not the undecided and I am puzzled how one could be undecided in this particular election. Yet I heard an interview with an undecided voter who said that he was faced with two unsavory choices: between "more government and less freedom". Excuse me? Naturally in the tradition of today's news interviewers, there was no follow up to explore this bizarre notion. Now it has occurred to me that the argument regarding voter fraud does not relate to early voting where the voters go to the polls early but to absentee ballots. There the potential for fraud exists. The case usually cited is in the Minnesota senate race where the republican Norm Coleman lost to the idiot Al Franken because an unlikely 60 percent of the absentee ballots went to the democrat. It would be interesting to see if in states where the election commission is dominated by democrats, that their candidates get the most absentee votes and in states where the republicans dominate, their candidates get the most. Then there might be an argument that absentee voting is likely to be fraudulent. But to include early voting at the polls as fraudulent is a bit of a stretch.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com