Not everyone is able, on the first Tuesday of November each year or on any designated election day, to take time off from work, find transportation or the necessary childcare or adult day care, and go to the polls and vote. One of the most successful reforms for voter participation during the last decade has been the establishment of early voting.
Recent studies indicate that voters like the early voting option, and administrators generally do as well. It's convenient for voters and it spreads out the voting process for election officials, reducing lines on Election Day.
For those intent on rolling back voting rights and limiting access to the ballot however, limits on early voting or shorter early vote periods are ways to suppress the vote. These tactics have been used and/or attempted in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and elsewhere. When we make it harder for people to vote, it hurts our democracy. This is 21st century voter suppression.