Nearly 80 percent of Americans think vote by mail is a good idea

Sparta /
| 25 May 2020 | 08:44

To the Editor:

On May 12, Sussex County Clerk Jeffrey Parrott published an Application For Vote By Mail Ballot, with instructions, in the NJ Herald. Thank you, Mr. Parrott.

Nearly 80 percent of Americans think vote by mail is a good idea, especially in November 2020 during a global pandemic. There is, however, a vocal minority who steadfastly demonize vote by mail. Why?

Opponents of vote by mail, including President Trump, say it is fraught with fraud. Trump says voting by mail hurts Republicans. Republican Trump and his family however, vote by mail. The 80 percent of Americans who like vote by mail includes a lot of Republicans.

Vote by mail is an option. It is not a requirement. Americans can vote in person if they want. Many of us vote by mail because we can. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, since 2000 more than 250,000 votes have been cast by mail. In 2018, before coronavirus hit, more than 31 million Americans cast ballots by mail, comprising 25.8 percent of election participants.

Despite what some say, fraud rates in vote by mail are extremely low. True, there was that misconduct by a Republican political operative in North Carolina in a 2018 congressional election that marred that vote, but a post-election investigation caught that misconduct, and a revote was conducted.

Most election jurisdictions use a bar code on ballot envelopes. Bar codes allow states to identify and eliminate duplicate ballots. Signatures on mail in ballots are compared with signatures on file. Unlike voting on a machine, voting by mail is unhackable.

Vote by mail increases voter participation, which should be the goal, right? Everyone who has the right to vote should be able to do so simply and safely. Vote by mail is one way to achieve that goal.

Ann M. Pompelio