Mail-In Voting and COVID-19 Issues

COVID-19 is still causing issues, but this time on more of a political scale. With the virus still consuming every bit of our news feed, phases restrictions and masks, and social distancing enforced, mail-in ballots are what seem to be the move for some voters. But there are some differing opinions that go along with mail-in votes. To put mail-in voting into perspective, nearly one quarter of votes were cast by either universal mail or absentee ballots in 2016. That number was 33 million according to brookings.edu. Soldiers overseas use mail-in voting, people who can’t get to the polls use mail-in voting, but there may be discrepancies within this mailing system.

Some are concerned there can be voter fraud. Such as the case of  Gregg County Commissioner Shannon Brown, Marlena Jackson, Charlie Burns and Dewayne Ward on charges with connection to a harvesting scheme during the 2018 Democratic primary election.  In total, the state filed over 130 felony charges against the group, one of them including engagement in organized election fraud, according to texasattorneygeneral.gov.

For college students, voting is at the forefront of their minds, but with class, multiple jobs and organizations, and the virus,  some may not even be able to make it to the polls. Senior communication major, John Williams said, “We are in the middle of a global pandemic right now in case people have forgotten, and so if people feel safer mailing in their ballot rather than going to the polling stations. That’s understandable for me. “ 

The mail-in system isn’t all that bad, as it has increased the turnout by 10% according to electionlab.mit.edu. But others aren’t so trusting. Senior IT major and former Lion Athlete said,”  Vote in person. Keep it fair, keep it simple. Just vote in person and we can all go home knowing that no one mixed something up.”

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