How About Absentee Ballots- Duh?

America is approaching a critical moment in its history- a general election that includes the vote for president of the United States in the midst of a global health crisis. What precautions are government officials taking to ensure that the contest between Trump and Biden is fair, representative of the wishes of the electorate and open to all voters? And, will polling places be safe?

 

The state of affairs dealing with voting and counting ballots was in a dangerous state of flux even before the pandemic. The Russians have been interfering in our electoral process, and it seems that every election is challenged because the system is antiquated, and no one trusts the results.

 

I hasten to point out that the pandemic, and the widespread order to distance and avoid crowds, is only going to make the process that much more inefficient and undependable. American are already skeptical about a fair election. Do our current representatives appreciate this situation? I, for one, have seen little on the subject.

 

Many people will likely avoid polling places. They will crowded. Lines will be long. The importance of just one vote may seem to be unimportant compared to the present dangers of participating, but every person’s vote is critical to our democratic ideals.

 

We have been taught that the election of our leaders is one of our most important civil responsibilities. The people we elect have the power of the purse, and one man has the ability to instigate a nuclear war. We must strive to elect qualified people to manage our money and our foreign affairs.

 

The pandemic is probably going to decrease the number of voters that show up on election day. Generally, that means the Republicans have an edge. But, this election, in the minds of many, is a very important moment for America. Solving the pandemic problem, dealing with national deficits, responding to Russian and Chinese misbehavior, ensuring women’s rights and Black rights, and scores of other issues are on the table in this election cycle. And the most urgent objective of many Americans is to end the Donald Trump masquerade as the most powerful person in the world.

 

What’s going to happen on election day? Will it represent the true feelings of the majority of the citizens, probably not? Will the vote be an uncontested mandate for the winner, probably not? Will enough people vote to make the election a clear statement of how Americans want their country to be governed, maybe?

 

What if the election is chaotic and inconclusive because of light voter turnout, greatly impacted by the pandemic? Will people not vote because they are frightened about contracting the virus? Have any of our leaders and lawmakers considered the issues that will surround an election in November, long lines and extended periods of waiting? Exposure to disease?

 

The time is right to encourage absentee ballots on a widespread basis. It’s easy to vote in this manner, and there are no health risks. Our government should be encouraged to change the system from waiting for hours on a line to a simple mail in process. Maybe then we will have a fair election, a significant majority of voters will show up to cast a ballot and the most qualified people will win. And most important, nobody will get sick in the process.

 

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