Critics of mass mail voting point to problems with government efficiency and the potential for voter fraud. The quick response often is a throwaway line that many states have been doing mail-in voting for years with no problems.
The editors of the Wall Street Journal then ask: “What do they have the rest of us lack? Well, for one thing, check out their solid deadlines.” For example, registered voters in Colorado are to be mailed a ballot by October 16. That was last Friday. A person who registers to vote within eight days of the election won’t be sent a ballot by mail but must get one in person.
The state of Oregon is even more strict. A potential voter must be registered to vote 21 days before the election. If you were not registered to vote by last Tuesday, October 13, you will have to sit out the November election. Ballots were sent out on Wednesday, October 14.
The editors make a great point. “If Oregon were a GOP state, its rules might be characterized as voter suppression, a cynical attempt to blockade the ballot box. But a deadline is a neutral rule, and running a tight ship is especially vital when many or all ballots are going by the U.S. Postal Service.” Clear rules and solid deadlines are not voter suppression.
What a contrast these clear rules are to what has been happening in many of the battleground states. Federal judges and state judges in Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have been changing the election rules and deadlines. In some cases, the Supreme Court may even have to rule to reestablish deadlines.
Yes, mail-in balloting can be safe but only if we learn important lessons from states that have been doing it for years. Changing the rules and deadlines in the midst of an election is not the way to have vote integrity.