William M. Akin IV
On November 3rd, millions of Americans will be casting their votes for the 2020 presidential election. However, this year will look a little different as new mail-in ballots will be implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Voting by mail has been around since the civil war but has recently re-sparked its way back to our society. Today, two voting systems use the mail: absentee ballots, for those who are physically unable to vote in person, and vote by mail, which is open to all voters.
“Vote by mail is proven to be successful, secure, convenient and will probably be the safest option for voting this November because of COVID-19,” said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, the head election official for California, told ABC News.
President Donald Trump suggested last week that voters should “stress test” the election system by voting both by mail and in person. This is due to him seeing a potential problem with fraud in the new mailing system. However, this goes against the law in which it is illegal to vote twice in the same election.
According to ABC News, “One way states have increased transparency in the mail-in process is by implementing ballot trackers, allowing voters to follow their ballot through the mail in the same way you track a package to your doorstep.”
States now are offering more drop box locations for voters who want to deliver their mail-in ballots directly to election clerks, without waiting on their ballot to go through the mail.
“I think it’s important for voters to know that while the rules may change a little bit from state to state, in most states elections officials are hard at work to provide multiple safe opportunities to vote,” said Padilla.
New Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has also made some implemented changes at the U.S. Postal Service recently.
According to Forbes Staff, Alison Durkee, “DeJoy also implemented transportation and processing changes, including mandating that drivers leave on time—resulting in mail getting left behind, rather than mail carriers waiting for it to be processed—and prohibiting extra trips to deliver mail.”
Durkee explained in her article that DeJoy’s actions has resulted in “nationwide reports of residents going days or weeks without mail deliveries, thousands of pieces of mail being left behind at post offices and a widespread “logjam” that threatens Americans’ prescriptions, bills, Social Security checks, mail-in ballots and more.”
With only a few more months until the presidential elect is announced, the postal service, ballot instructors, and the American people will have to work in our new daily environment to get through the voting process as effetely and efficiently as possible.