An in-depth report by CNHI News Service in today’s Free Press destroys several unfounded myths about absentee voting and makes the case that the voting is safe, secure and both Democrats and Republican candidates will benefit from it.
Data collected for the report shows the enormous increase in absentee voting in battleground states that many experts believe will decide the presidential election. In Minnesota alone, some 1.5 million absentee ballots have been ordered and 635,000 have already been returned with 23 days to go before the election. Those figures far surpass any comparable year.
County election experts in Minnesota expect nearly half of all votes to be cast by absentee/mail-in. And it makes sense to so many people. Lines for primary voting in Georgia and Wisconsin earlier this year had people waiting for hours, and risking exposure to COVID-19. Casting a ballot by mail is easy and safe.
President Donald Trump has told people to avoid using absentee ballot and voting by mail as there would be fraud. Those claims are baseless and, as one expert said in our report, are designed to scare people from voting by absentee.
Data in the report also shows absentee voting was popular among Democrats and Republicans. In fact, the Georgia Republican Party has been canvassing neighbors giving people applications to sign up for mail-in voting.
Minnesota has a particularly strong and secure absentee/mail-in voting system. Should voters make a mistake filling out the ballot certification areas, county officials will contact them to correct it. People can even change their mind if they’ve already voted provided they let the election officials know they want to revote within the time frame required.
With so many absentee ballots being cast, it’s likely those ballots will be pivotal in who wins the election. And even if the vote-counting takes longer, we can be confident the winner will be justly elected. Voter turnout will likely be an all-time high this year. And that’s good news for democracy.
Absentee/mail-in voting is safe, secure and allows people to exercise their right to vote in a safe and secure way and participate in American democracy.