Why it’s Time to Retire ‘Election Day’

October 27, 2020  • Vivian Schiller & Aspen Digital

This opinion piece originally appeared in CNN.

Today is Election Day. So is tomorrow. Yesterday too. So, why do we insist on counting down to November 3? The Covid-19 pandemic has vastly accelerated a trend that has been building for years: voting early. Americans are casting their ballots by mail, drop box or at in early voting locations in record numbers this year.

As we count down to November 3, more than 60 million Americans have already cast their ballots, topping the total of all early votes four years ago. And early polling has only just started in states like New York, Massachusetts, Maryland and elsewhere.

Why then do pundits, reporters and political campaigns still refer to “Election Day”? Across social media and campaigns spots, candidates, their surrogates and political commentators talk about the hours until “polls open” next Tuesday.

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