Early voting is the civic manifestation of the modern age: fragmented, individualistic and solitary. …

Like early voting, these are conveniences of modern life. And we are, on balance, better off for the advent of early voting as much as for the ATM and DVR. Not everyone can make it to the polls on Election Day. Not everyone can afford to be late to work in the event of long lines. …

Initial studies raised questions about whether early voting increased turnout or simply shifted the time that voters cast their ballots. But given candidates’ emphasis on early voters in recent elections — the Obama campaign targeted them in 2008 and the Romney campaign is trying to catch up to Democrats this year — it seems likely that early voting is boosting turnout. …

This year, by the time the final debate took place on Oct. 22, early voting had commenced in all but five of the states that permit it, although in some cases just barely. That’s unfortunate. Voting on the basis of more information is better than voting on the basis of less.