As we get closer to the general election, one question many voters have is what to do for Election Day if the COVID-19 pandemic is still around in the fall. One solution that has been proposed by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) is to vote by mail, which the state of Oregon already does. Although voting by mail is a way to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, there are other issues that could come along with this method of voting.
Issues With Ballots
Several issues could come up by the time ballots are counted, one of them being candidates that have suspended their campaigns still being on the ballot. This could cause a voter to choose a candidate who has no chance of winning by the time ballots are counted on Election Day or primary day, which has been the case in the past for some states. For example, in the past two years, the Illinois primaries have had several candidates who suspended their campaigns before the election, yet still had their names appear on the ballot.
Other issues that will arise is what happens to ballots after they are put in the mailbox. There have been issues with items being mishandled by the post office, so, if people are going to vote by mail, we’d need to make sure the system is close to perfect and not compromised. The hardest part of all will be making sure that ballots do not get lost after the voters mail them. Although envelopes with ballots will likely be very distinctive and easy to notice, they need to be handled carefully.
Voter Fraud Concerns
Many voters already have trust issues with what happens after they vote in person, so it is unlikely they will trust a system that requires them to vote by mail.
In a USA Today opinion article, one other noted concern is privacy for voters, since their return addresses would be listed on the envelopes. The same article also mentioned a bipartisan electoral reform commission in 2005 that found voting by mail could increase voter fraud. Following the continuing debacle over the 2016 election, American voters don’t need another controversy questioning the legitimacy of an election and their own personal votes.
All we can do is hope the current pandemic ends or is tamped down enough so the maximum number of people can get out and vote on November 3 or earlier.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.