I completely agree with Rick’s comparisons of absentee by-mail, early in-person, and Election Day voting. (In fact, I’ve long argued for those terms because they most precisely describe the mechanism by which the ballots are cast.)
I mildly dissent from Rick on one point, though. Early in-person voting is not a “recent development in American democracy.” It’s been around for nearly thirty years now. More than a quarter of all ballots were cast early (early in-person and absentee combined) in 2004 and almost a third were cast early in 2008.
I’m glad to see Courts and scholars finally waking up to the quiet revolution in voting. But there’s not doubt that the revolution has been underway for a few decades.