NPR was just interviewing Curtis Gans of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate at American University. He was saying that voter turnout last week wasn't as heavy as some early reports had indicated. I had heard that and was only half-listening when the topic turned to one near to my heart: early voting.
Gans said there is no evidence that relaxing rules on early voting increases turnout. There is some evidence, he said, that early voting decreases turnout. Not only does it diffuse get-out-the-vote efforts, but also a lot of those early ballots apparently wind up getting left behind on kitchen tables.
Meanwhile, of course, Americans are abysmal voters, ranking 139th out of 172 democracies (if memory serves) in turnout.
There's only one solution: Give everybody Election Day off, and make it a paid holiday for everybody who shows up back at work on Wednesday with an "I voted" sticker.