Kari Chisholm and Howard Dean are, of course, both wrong, and I'm right about the turnout effects of voting by mail.
But there's something we can all agree on--assuming you have enough information to cast your ballot, there are lots of reasons to do so immediately. You'll save yourself the energy required to sort through and toss unwanted campaign flyers, you'll save campaigners time and money, and you might even help save the planet!
Candidates and campaigners in "absentee rich" voting environments (states with significant numbers of both precinct place and absentee/by mail voters) constantly talk about how complicated, and expensive, it is to campaign in these environments. Mobilizing voters, rather than being a three or four day process, can be a three or four week process.
Election administrators don't like the mixed environments, either. They never know quite how many absentee ballots they'll have to process, how many poll workers to hire, and how many machines to put in place.
In Oregon, we've voted fully by mail since a 1998 initiative was passed by the voters. What this means for the individual voter is pretty simple: you get your ballot about 18 days prior to election day, and are free to cast it at any time.
What this means for campaigns is that, once you get that ballot to the local library or the county elections office, your name is checked off an electronic list (the fact that you've cast your ballot is a public record).
And guess what--no more mailers, flyers, robo calls, knocks on your door, etc. Even one extra glossy trifold brochure is one too many if you've already voted. Good for you, good for campaigners, and even good for the planet.
So get to that kitchen table and vote!