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Editorial: Nov. 6: Why most can't wait and more become early birds

There are said to be only a few "swing states" and a tiny percentage of "undecided voters" left to decide the Nov. 6 presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Aside from this swinging fraction, most of us long ago made up our minds about whom to vote for. All the TV and direct-mail mudslinging ads, editorial endorsements and letters to the editor won't sway us.

We're ready, and it shows: More and more people vote by absentee balloting and early voting. These are not people living abroad or taking long trips. They're everyday people who live at home.

National estimates are that about a third of all voting will be done before Nov. 6. In Iowa, for instance, where balloting began more than a month ago, four out of 10 voters are expected to have cast ballots before election day.

The reason for the surge of absentee and early voting is simple. It reflects a yearning by voters to be done with our dysfunctional elective process.

Why dysfunctional? It's strung-out, obscenely expensive and disrupts the functioning of the executive and legislative bodies of our national government. Romney has been campaigning for two years. Obama, without a party challenger, less than a year but he's been in office almost four years.

What don't we know about these two candidates that most of us -- say, about 95% -- couldn't have voted on months ago? In Europe and other world democracies, elections are called suddenly and held swiftly -- in a matter of weeks.

That way voters pay attention. They're forced to decide (not remain undecided). Politicking is brief. Costly campaign smears are minimized. Candidates don't spend so much time begging and being bought by rich donors.

The American way of voting for a president is a tedious, repetitive, exorbitant marathon. Voters are turned off. More vote early to opt out and bring closure.

Online Poll: Future transportation transformed

The Journal's online poll questioned asked: Would you ever ride on a light rail line if one was built that ran through western Wisconsin?

The vote as of Tuesday noon, Oct. 30, was: YES, 73.2%; NO, 26.8%.

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