With the start of the new year, the idea has been put forth that we should/need to begin voting by mail instead of going to our local polling place to cast our ballots. According to congressional records -
The absentee voting amendment process began when the House passed HR 26 in 1929. In 1931, the House and Senate passed HJR 159, followed by voter approval in 1932.
So the concept is nothing new and yet has gone through many changes and interpretations over the years. Most recently, due to the COVID19 pandemic and states and political operatives expressing a great amount of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), voting by mail once again comes to the forefront.
Overall, the process appears to be painless and convenient for those who choose to vote this way. You request a ballot from your local polling place clerk. The ballot is mailed to you. You fill out the ballot in the comfort of your home and then return the ballot by mail. Nothing could be simpler?
Looking back, now nearly three weeks later on the election, it was orderly and in spite of a few idiosyncrasies was completed without a major upheaval. There were no biblical fire and brimstone admonitions simply because we voted at our respective polling places. There was also no reported massive uptick of related COVID19 positive cases due to the voting.
There are many states that are choosing to err on the side of caution and promoting the universal need for voting by mail for the residents of their states. While voting by mail does offer a sense of pandemic safety, it also comes with the downside of additional legal challenges to the entire voting process.
Voting by mail brings with it a plethora of things to go wrong with the entire process. Historically there are more challenges to election races when there are mail-in ballots in the mix. There is a certain satisfaction of voting in person. You’re greeted by neighbors, when you sign in to vote. If you have questions or there is an issue with the voting process, it can be resolved right then and there in the polling place. One only has to look back to the 2016 Presidential election whee according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission millions of mail ballots were never counted as completed votes for their respective candidate.
Let’s keep voting at our local polling place. It’s the right thing to do.