Wed12022020

Last updateWed, 18 Nov 2020 1pm

Editorial

Voting in the Pandemic Election

default article imageWith the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force, it is safe to say that Nov. 3 is not going to be your typical Election Day.

Voting will look a little different this year. Every registered voter in New Jersey received a mail-in paper ballot with specific instructions that must be followed in order for the vote to count. New Jersey has eliminated in-person voting booths this year, except for people with disabilities, due to COVID-19 concerns. There have been many concerns about the possibilities of fraud in respect to mail-in ballots, as well.

With Election Day less than a week away, The Outlook editors shared their opinion on voting methods.

Most editors believe that mail-in ballots are convenient and efficient. One editor said, “I think mail-in ballots make a lot of sense for the situation we are in with the pandemic still going on and trying to be as safe as possible by avoiding large crowds.”

Editors who live out-of-state have said that mail-in ballots have given them the opportunity to cast their vote for their home state.

However, one editor is skeptical of casting a vote through a mail-in ballot. They said, “If I have the chance to vote in person, I will. I would feel more secure voting in person, to be sure my vote is counted and received in time for the election. I don’t want to vote by mail outside of my state.”

Another editor said that they would have preferred going to a voting booth to cast their ballot this election.

The editors have also discussed the issue of voter fraud concerns for the 2020 election. While some editors believe that voter fraud can occur with mail-in ballots, they still think that they are an effective, safe way to cast their vote this year.

“The pros outweigh the cons,” said one editor. “Mail-in voting allows for so many people to vote who are scared about staying healthy and safe right now and who are not currently living in their county like me.”

One editor said, “It’s hard to say whether or not mail-in voter fraud is as problematic as some people are saying… I think it should be up to the voter to decide how they want to cast their ballot.”

Another editor agreed, “There is no evidence of wide-spread voter fraud occurring in U.S. elections, only isolated incidents. The overall rate of voter fraud in the US is between .00004 percent and .0009 percent, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. In fact, most instances of alleged voter fraud are due to mistakes made by either voters or administrators. Mail-in ballots are an essential and safe way to vote during the pandemic.”

As NJ.com reported, about 7,000 people in Bergen County received the wrong mail-in ballots sent to them the first week of October, rushing officials to send the correct ballots in under 24 hours.

“This is a huge issue because if these people mail back these incorrect ballots they will be tossed out as inaccurate and those people’s votes will not count,” one editor said.

Another editor said, “I think that these are uncharted territories that we as a nation are navigating right now in terms of mail-in voting on such a large scale. There is human error involved in everything, however, with something as fragile as voting for the leader of our country, there should be a system that makes it hard to make errors.”

All New Jersey ballots must be postmarked for Nov. 3 and must be received by the Board of Elections by Nov. 10. Most editors, both in-state and out-of-state, have already casted their vote. And, as NorthJersey.com reported on Tuesday, Oct. 27, more than two million people have already voted in the state.

One editor emphasized the importance of voting, “I believe that everyone should vote if they are eligible. The fate of society is incredibly volatile, but with the power of voting. It doesn’t have to be like that.”

 

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University

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