(opinions) mail-in voting

"I Voted" stickers at Grand Rapids second ward precinct 46 inside the Yankee Clipper Library, 2025 Leonard NE, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. "I Voted" stickers at Grand Rapids second ward precinct 46 inside the Yankee Clipper Library, 2025 Leonard NE, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

Mail-in voting has become a popular way of voting in recent months due to the novel coronavirus. The simple process allows registered voters to automatically receive their ballots in the mail. This is not to be confused with the slightly different absentee ballot, where you have to request the ballot to be sent to you. Although this may seem like a great idea at first, it comes with its drawbacks.

Beyond the threat of fraud, there have been cases of mail-in ballots never being received by the voter or by the United States Postal Service, getting lost and being filled out incorrectly. Nothing is foolproof, including the U.S. Postal Service. Chances of ballots getting lost are more probable than people think, as well as the chance that if your ballot comes in late or is incorrectly filled out, your vote will be altogether rejected. 

There’s also the issue of how many ballots will be processed through the mail in such a short amount of time. As of 2018, there are 157 million registered voters in America. If we were to divide that number by two, that is still 78 million ballots being sent in through the mail in such a short period of time. There are bound to be ballots that get lost in the mayhem or end up getting accidentally skipped over and not processed.  

On the other hand, many would say there are pros. They would argue that the use of mail-in voting creates more voter turnout than in person voting. It could also be argued that mail-in voting is both cheaper and safer, the latter being very important during this unprecedented time. The opposing view would also argue that mail in ballots are easier to process and allow for a better understanding of America’s eligible voters. While these are all valid points, they do not address the instability caused by those who would abuse the use of mail-in voting and try to skew the results of the election. 

Mail-in voting has become an increasingly popular choice for eligible voters due to the risk of contracting COVID-19. Americans have become more and more concerned about how to slow the spread of this disease. While this is a good thing, it allows room for voting stability to be compromised due to some of the drawbacks of mail in voting argued above. While it is always important to stay safe and consider those around you, if you can wear a mask to the grocery store, you can wear a mask to the polls.

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