In just the few days that early voting has been available to there has been a huge spike in early voting in Tarrant County from the 2004 election. According to the Arlington Star-Telegram, early voting is up nearly 51,000 from four years prior in the 2004 election during the same time period. While this is absolutely great that more people are participating in the democratic process I can’t help but ponder the pro’s and con’s.

On the good side I see the hassle it takes out of Election day for some people. For instance, the only way I would be able to vote this time around was early voting. I work full-time and also go to graduate school three nights a week and if it weren’t for early voting I would not be able to vote because I am not back in my district before the 7 pm poll closings.

On the other side I see something wrong with early voting. I think early voting allows people to vote more with emotion than intelligence. Despite the records of our candidates being readily available to us and the debates being done and over there is a reason that campaigning goes right up to election day. I think this is important particularly in our national elections, where I believe there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the democratic presidential candidate, not to mention a pending lawsuit for the disclosure of records.

With all this being said I believe there is a simple point to be made. While early voting is convenient, it may also leave the American people with an uneducated, emotional decision rather than an analytical informed decision. With all that hinges on these state and national elections making decisions simply with the heart is completely unacceptable. Tough common sense is what is most desperately needed at the result of these elections, not pretty words and empty promises.