Voting During Covid-19
Going to the polls in a pandemic America may seem like an excellent way to cause infection rates to fire through the roof. Experts tend to agree, which had lead to starker controls on how the polling places manage the process and the rising discussion of mail-in voting as a potential solution. Mail-in voting may seem like the perfect solution to our current concern, though the media displays some confusion as to exactly what those concerns are.
Mail-In Voting vs. Absentee Voting
One of the current controversies regarding the upcoming election is whether mail-in voting is an efficacious and safe method of managing the polling process. This may seem particularly confusing to those who have had to take advantage of a process known as absentee voting in the past. Absentee voting is conducted by mail, so it would seem as though this process was already in place. So why the concerns about mail-in voting?
A Matter of Scale
One of the concerns surrounding mail-in voting is the sheer volume of ballots that would be produced by this process, and the postal system’s ability to handle them. Absentee voting may be a common practice, but it requires a qualifying reason and a request made sufficiently in advance. How much in advance is a question for each individual state. Mail-in ballots essentially bypass this request process.
While absentee voting has generated as many as 4 million ballots in previous election years, this year's mail-in voting process could result in tens of millions. While the holiday season's handling of Christmas Cards suggests that the postal system is more than capable of handling the load, the questions don't end there.
Map curtesy of: https://www.brookings.edu/
Questions of Fraud
A major concern presented by the media, those in power, and concerned citizens is whether the use of mail-in voting would increase instances of voter fraud. This supposition is utterly unsupported by research performed by multiple outlets, including the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. This process contains multiple protections against fraud that have proven efficacious in the past. It is yet to be discovered if they are robust enough to withstand a barrage of mail-in votes potentially dozens of times larger than it has been faced with previously. That concern being raised, there is little reason to believe that the system in place should falter under the load.
How Do I Vote By Mail?
This is a question you'll have to research on your own. Some states will require you to request your mail-in ballot and provide a reason you will be prevented from making it to the polls. Others, like Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, don't require a reason to be provided to vote by mail. Colorado also provides you the chance to avoid people all together after your mail in date, with secure ballot drop off locations around each city. Dropping off your vote is easier than stopping by your favorite drive through. Take some time to look up your states voting procedures to see if voting by mail is allowed, and how you can get your ballot if it is.
Dime Bags believes the electoral process is one of the greatest privileges and responsibilities of the American Citizen. It is through this process that we affect non-violent change and speak our truth and our values in a forum where they can make a difference. We encourage all our Dime Bag fans to get out and make their voices heard this election year.