So you’ve cast your ballot early, wanting to miss the expected lines at polling places, but now, let’s say, you have a change of heart.
Perhaps you’ve heard something about the person you voted for that you just don’t like. Maybe you think you should have considered other factors in your voting decision.
Call it buyer’s remorse, but you’re pretty much stuck with that first choice — unless you live in one of seven states, then you may have an out.
According to voting laws in Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, if you change your mind on who you wish to vote for, you can have a do-over.
While most election officials say few people come back to change their vote, a Google search for “change early voting” spiked last Friday night into Saturday after FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to congressional leaders saying his agency would be looking at emails that could pertain to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
So, someone is interested in the topic.
How significant would it be to have early voters change their vote in an election that could see some 40 percent of the electorate cast a ballot prior to Election Day? It could be significant, but it isn’t likely to be.
For two reasons — first, there are not many states in which you are allowed to change a vote; second, in states where you can change your ballot, there are restrictions.
If you are going to change your vote in Minnesota, for instance, you must do so by Tuesday. In Wisconsin, on the other hand, you are allowed to vote up to three times, though officials there say that doesn’t happen often.
In the swing state of Pennsylvania you can change your ballot up to election day, but you must go in person to do so.
Early voting opportunities and participation has grown during the past years, with 37 states now allow some form of early voting. Three states (Colorado, Oregon, and Washington) now conduct all voting by mail. In 13 states, early voting is reserved for those who have a stated excuse for not being able to get to the polls on Election Day.
According to electproject.org, the percentage of the vote cast early ranged from 81 percent in Colorado to 62 percent in North Carolina to 5 percent in Pennsylvania.
In the Google Trend search, five states showed the most interest in the question, “Can you change your early vote.” The states are Nevada, Louisiana, Tennessee North Carolina and Wisconsin.