The Ballot Box and the Mailbox in the Time of COVID-19

To go to the polls or not to go to the polls. Photo by Tiffany Tertipes on unsplash

IndyKid Journalist, age 12

The coronavirus pandemic has brought new difficulties to the 2020 presidential election due to take place on November 3. Reduced access to polling stations and issues with mail-in ballots could potentially affect the amount of votes for each candidate. 

With a decrease in the number of polling stations, people have instead turned to mail-in voting in order to avoid large crowds. But thousands of votes in the primaries were not counted due to delayed mail or voters forgetting to sign their ballots. An analysis conducted by NPR found that at least 65,000 mail-in ballots were rejected after the primary elections because they arrived late. 

Democrats and Republicans have different opinions on how to deal with this situation, according to NPR. Democrats proposed that the government extend the deadline so the votes received after Election Day can still be counted. However, Republicans and the Trump administration argue that by extending the deadline, the election could be open to fraud. 

According to the legal information website, voter fraud requires a lot of dedication and strategy. People might switch out ballots or hack into programs to increase the votes for their chosen candidate. Voter fraud is always a possibility in each election. In an interview with Axios, President Trump stated that universal mail-in voting is corrupt, “but absentee voting is OK.” However, mail-in ballots are cast in the same way with the same level of scrutiny as absentee ballots, according to the Associated Press.

Democratic lawmakers are now accusing the Trump administration of attempting to sabotage the United States Postal Service, according to Democracy Now! Louis DeJoy, the U.S. postmaster general and a Republican donor, made several cuts to the Postal Service in early August, causing significant delays to an already inundated Postal Service. 

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