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Vote by Mail?

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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

The latest polls show that a majority of voters (58%) favor reforming our election laws so everyone in America can vote by mail. An additional percentage (9%) back a one-time exception this year because of the pandemic.

Having the entire nation vote by mail is not a good idea, but it will take some convincing arguments to sway the current push for nationwide voting by mail. In fact, there are already five states (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Utah) that already conduct elections entirely by mail.

Why is voting by mail dangerous? First, the voter rolls are notoriously in bad shape. One study concluded that there are more voter registrations in 378 US counties than there are citizens of voting age in that county. Some voters have moved away. Others are registered more than once. Voters who have died are still on the rolls.

Mailing out ballots to the entire nation means that hundreds of thousands (or more) are arriving at homes for people who no longer live there or who are registered at more than one location. There is great potential for voter fraud.

Second, universal voting by mail raises significant security questions. These ballots are the only kind that are being marked without any supervision from election officials. People can engage in election fraud. Voters might even be intimidated into voting a certain way.

If someone is disabled or concerned about the virus, they can vote by absentee ballot in a majority of states. That has always been the case. Most all states allow early voting, which would allow citizens to vote when there isn’t a crowd at the polling place.

I think having the entire nation vote by mail is a bad idea. But I realize that it appears that most Americans want to move ahead with it anyway.

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