This week, we are back with more voting knowledge! A major concern for voting in the 2020 election is voting by mail. With COVID-19 still a serious issue, many are considering voting by mail to avoid the risk of catching the virus. But, there are also concerns regarding potential problems with voting by mail. So, let's break it down.
What is voting by mail?
This may seem obvious, but there are 2 ways to vote by mail: mailing in your completed ballot, or dropping off your completed ballot. Mailing in your completed ballot is typically the route to take when you are not voting in person. When it comes to avoiding the virus, this is the safest option. But, this is where problems with the USPS play a major part. Many are worried that, with complications with the USPS in 2020, their vote may not be received in time or not count. To avoid this, there is the drop-off option which is also considered a mail-in vote. Dropping off your ballot requires more touchpoints than mailing it in, but subsides the risk of your vote not making it in time. This option is also significantly less risky than voting in person. Let's get into it.
Why is there worry about mail-in voting?
Here are the major issues that are circulating:
- USPS Difficulties
There have been reports of slowdowns with the Postal Service, causing people to question whether or not their casted, mailed ballot will make it in time to count in the election. This comes amidst USPS delays, along with the inability to make operational changes during this time. Additionally, this affects when you receive the ballot, as well as when you send your ballot out.
- Mix-Ups & Misprints
Already, there have been multiple instances of counties across the US receiving incorrect or misprinted ballots. With the increase in mail-in voting requests this year due to the virus, counties have much higher numbers of ballots to send out than usual. But, this does not represent the entire process. In any process, mistakes can happen. And, according to experts, mail-in voting is no more riskier than in-person voting when it comes down to your vote counting. For example, the area in Los Angeles that received misprinted ballots, already received corrected ones, with well enough time to get their vote in.
- What to do?
Overall, the best method of voting is based on your needs and concerns. There is a lot of pressure going around to vote in person as it appears to be the best way to ensure your vote counts. In the midst of a pandemic, this comes with additional consequences. But of course, if you take the proper precautions to not infect others or yourself, this does completely avoid the USPS and any other issues with the mail-in ballot.
The in-between option, and arguably the least popular method according to the media, is dropping your ballot off. If you are able, this option does offer less contact to mitigate the virus, while avoiding potential mishaps with Postal Service delivery.
Lastly, if you cannot make it to the polls or drop off your ballot, and you receive your ballot with plenty of time to spare, mail-in voting is better than none at all. Chances are, your vote WILL count. Like we mentioned above, the risk has been assessed by experts to not be any more or less than voting in person in regards to the vote being counted in the election.
Deadlines, how-to's, and any more information you need to figure out which is the best method of voting for you! Click here.