I remember the first time I voted in a presidential election. It felt like a very big deal to me, and I was proud to do it.
Because I was in the military, I voted by mail. The military has voted by mail for decades.
So I was surprised recently when voting by mail was suddenly under attack. It honestly made no sense to me. Voting by mail is easy, and voting by paper ballot is more secure than using a voting machine.
I was glad to see that across the board, voting by mail was supported by people across the political spectrum. That’s because they know the truth about it and how easy and successful it is and can be.
Many states, of course, offer a vote by mail. Most are for absentee voters – like those in the military. But a few states – Oregon, Washington and Colorado – conduct elections completely by mail.
And guess what? There has been no voter fraud disaster. In fact, although many push voter fraud as a huge problem, it is very rare. In fact, it is almost non-existent. It has been probed and studied and – even when those searching believe it has happened – they simply cannot find voter fraud. There are cases here and there – from both parties – but nothing statistically significant.
So why are of the concern about voting by mail? Well, I believe it is because some people in political office want as few people as possible voting. Why would anyone ever want to make voting more difficult when it should be less difficult? Well, you know the answer, don’t you?
Remember, people can say anything. They can scream about voter fraud and millions of missing votes all they want. But those claims have been investigated – from California to Florida – and they have been found to be wrong.
We must understand in this country that truth and reality still matter.
And the truth is that voting by mail would make it easier for Americans to vote. I would think any politicians worth their weight in campaign slogans would love that. Should people win on their platforms and their performance, and not who they shut out of the voting process?
Yes, they should. And if you think it is fine to disenfranchise millions of voters, please don’t tell me you love American and what it stands for.
A couple of states are now considering mailing ballots out to voters in the face of the current pandemic. Sure, this will be over eventually. But voting from home by mail make sense to me. It has proven to be safe and secure.
Again, there has not been “massive” voter fraud through the mail, as some have suggested. That is only in the minds of a select few.
Please don’t buy into the newest attempt to keep as many people from voting as possible. Win elections with your ideas, not your stunts to keep people from voting or by making voting more difficult.
I am still proud every time I vote, as are my children – now voters themselves. I hope that the process becomes even more open and easier as time moves on.
Brad Jennings is Editor of The Ogle County Life.