Opinion: Mail-in votes draw controversy

Change creates anxiety, but is needed amidst pandemic


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Mail-in ballots have caused concern with more citizens using this method amidst the pandemic.

Carey Seay, Copy Editor

  Anyone who’s been keeping up with the upcoming election has heard the debate over the accuracy of mail-in voting. Mail-in ballots were initially designed for the disabled or for those who simply could not make it to the polls on election day; however, with all of the unknowns and risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, mail-in voting has become extremely popular. As always, of course, with change comes mixed feelings, especially when it involves politics. 

  Recently, rumors have been spreading around about mail-in ballots being thrown away, stolen, and lost, and investigations are ongoing. Although many media outlets have pointed to the President’s “overreaction,” asserting that only a “small number” of ballots have been affected by tampering, there have been confirmed cases that have resulted in postal employees being fired, formal charges being filed, and investigations are open around the country. 

  With health concerns amidst the pandemic, mail-in ballots will likely make up more votes than in previous years, which raises even more concern. Because of this, the question has come up of if mail-in voting should be open to the general public in the future. 

  Despite concerns, bipartisanpolicy.org actually asserts that “rates of voter fraud [are] extremely low” and cites voting officials across the country that state that mail-in votes are in many ways more secure due to the security measures in place in many jurisdictions. 

  It’s sad to think that we have to worry about our beliefs being represented unfairly depending on the way we vote. Everyone should be entitled to their own opinion whether they agree with your views or not. No matter your political stance, religious background, social class stature, or ethnicity, your views should be respected. Apparently, however, not everyone agrees with this belief, since they would rather literally trash everyone else’s beliefs to, say, unfairly win an election than let it play out justly as it should. 

  So, what can we do to solve this problem? Should we just abolish mail-in voting altogether? Should we punish those who vote by mail for the actions of those who disagree with them? This could be a solution, but it’s not completely fair either, is it? Yes, those who are able to physically vote and can make it to the polls, but are choosing not to due to COVID-19 can take the necessary precautions to vote in person rather than by mail. But, while this could partially solve the problem, many people will still choose to mail-in their ballots whether they are physically able to make it to the polls or not.

  What’s a better solution? Maybe we should turn our focus more towards mail carriers and those who retrieve mail that may contain ballots. Maybe we should appoint trustworthy people within each county to collect ballots. And maybe we should make ballot drop boxes more secure and durable. 

  We can encourage able-bodied people to vote in person. We can be more careful when using ballot drop boxes. We can even abolish mail-in voting. We can make all of these changes, but the problem won’t fully be solved. To be honest, the problem will probably never fully be solved.

  It’s disappointing that we even have to question the fairness of something as simple as mail-in voting in a country that has provided us with so many freedoms. But, sadly, today’s society forces us to face it as a harsh reality.