EDITORIAL

Voting early can bolster democracy through COVID

Posted 10/15/20

With seemingly nothing else coming easy in 2020, why should voting be any different? Of course, we don't mean to infer that there should be barriers to voting in any presidential election held in the United States, but it seems almost fitting that during

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in
EDITORIAL

Voting early can bolster democracy through COVID

Posted

With seemingly nothing else coming easy in 2020, why should voting be any different?

Of course, we don’t mean to infer that there should be barriers to voting in any presidential election held in the United States, but it seems almost fitting that during such a tumultuous year, even one of our core democratic tenants should be so full of rife and complications.

On top of legitimate concerns that physical polling places will become super-spreaders for a deadly disease amidst a global pandemic – not to mention the regular transmission of the seasonal flu – there has been much talk coming from one side of the political aisle regarding the possibility of voter fraud occurring on a widespread and unprecedented basis. We must remind readers again that there is absolutely no evidence to bolster the fear of the latter.

There are concerns about mail ballots not getting delivered in time, there are concerns about those mail ballots not being counted correctly. Basically, if you can imagine a possible complication or instance where something could go wrong, it has been talked about on one cable news channel or another.

So, allow us to cut through the confusion and chaos that seems all but unavoidable this election season with a simple solution: Vote early.

It seems overly simple and like there’s almost some kind of unseen catch, but early voting is our best shot as a society to ensure that November 3 results in a fair, representative election that reflects the will of the people. Whether you vote early by mail or show up to your local city or town hall in person with a ballot in hand, don’t be afraid to do so. Calling ahead is a best practice to ensure the clerk’s office isn’t over-burdened, but we can assure you that they will not laugh at you or accuse you of trying to defraud the country by going down any time between now and Election Day to place your vote.

It strikes us as surprising that it took a global crisis to realize the benefits of allowing early voting. After all, for what reasons (beside the classically deficient “we’ve always done it this way” traditionalist argument) should people not be able to vote early once they’ve decided who to vote for?

We are certainly not naïve enough to imagine that a vast majority of voters haven’t already made up their mind about this election many months ago anyways, and allowing the practice should only enfranchise more people to actually vote. We all know of people who have failed to cast a ballot due to the inconveniences of needing to go in person, at a specific time, on a work day (which is another issue entirely), just to vote – sometimes people must stand in line for hours.

Giving more voters the freedom to vote on their own time and cast more votes will help strengthen the integrity of our elections, not weaken them. To suggest otherwise is misleading at best and an outright insidious lie at worst.

Even if you missed the deadline for getting a mail ballot (which was Tuesday), you can still vote early any time between today and Election Day. And honestly, considering the times, you really should consider doing so.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment