( ENSPIRE News ) With the Current Ongoing Pandemic, Voting Might be Drastically Different
ENSPIRE CONTRIBUTOR: Tyler Burns
We hear terms like absentee ballots, mail-in-voting, and other alternatives ways of voting thrown around with little regard for they actually are. Here’s what they are. As everyone knows we’re in the midst of an election year but are also dealing with a global pandemic that’s keeping large crowds separated. Voting, especially in cities, undeniably draws large crowds because many citizens have a desire to cast a ballot. This upcoming presidential election will be like none-before because of the possibility of absentee ballots and/or mail-in-voting and it’s a very confusing process that should be explained. The safest and most effective way to vote for the upcoming presidential elections in November will be mail-in-voting so it is very important to shed some light on the process and what it actually is.
Mail-in-voting and absentee ballots are two distinct things and many states are grappling with the issue of how to implement voting in safe and healthy regard for the general election. The process of mail-in-voting uses absentee ballots but it is dire to understand the differences in order to make sure every vote gets counted. States with differing levels of infection rates will likely implement different plans for voting so it is important to stay up-to-date on what your state government is doing in regards to voting for the presidential election.
Mail-in-voting is the process of voting through the mail and it is quite easy as a concept. We would be mailed ballots, absentee ballots, and be expected to return them by a certain date in order to qualify as a vote. This seems easy but they’re several obstacles to this. Many states have statutes that require in-person voting or through a voting machine.
These statutes make it illegal to mail ballots to voters. Mail-in-voting has hurdles but House Democrats have been pushing for federal legislation that would allow states to do mail-in-voting. Some state governments have already announced mail-in-voting for the general election because this decision is at the complete discretion of the individual states; we will see different outcomes for different regions, most likely.
An absentee ballot is a ballot completed through the process of mail-in-voting and typically mailed in advance of an election by a voter who is unable to be present at the polls. States across the country, like Virginia, are making it more possible for their residents to qualify as “absentee”. Essentially, many states require a specific reason for an absentee ballot but now they are adopting language that would allow citizens to claim excuse “2A” for “my disability or illness” to secure an absentee ballot. This would allow more citizens to vote in safer environments rather than crowding polling stations and running the risk of a possible infection.
Every American has the right to vote and therefore should be informed on the process in order to have their voice heard. Absentee ballots and mail-in-voting are not fraudulent nor are they more likely to be stolen from your mailbox; they simply are an alternative way of voting to address our current ongoing crisis involving the Covid-19. It’s a different process and it’s not normal but times are not normal and we must rise up to vote still even if it’s through mail-in-voting. The links below will lead you to any information you need in regard to absentee ballots and mail-in-voting.