I Voted By Mail in 2020
Everybody should be able to do so, in every election.
I just got back from dropping off my 2020 election ballot in the neighborhood postbox. While I’m not convinced voting actually helps make things better for working-class people like me, I did it anyway because I might be wrong.
If you haven’t already voted, I recommend requesting a ballot by mail and doing it as soon as possible. Voting by mail is superior to voting in person for the following reasons:
- You can do it before or after work, instead of having to worry about getting to your polling place in time or during your lunch break.
- You don’t have to be around other people.
- You don’t have to wear a mask to vote by mail.
- You don’t have to deal with people trying to give you the hard sell on their candidate or party just outside the polling place.
- Nobody can stop you from photographing your ballot for your own records before sending it.
- It doesn’t take nearly as long as voting in person.
I’ve voted by mail twice this year. The first time was during the primaries in spring. Both times I got a paper ballot well in advance of the deadline. With all the names available in front of me, I was able to search for information on each of them, learn about them, and decide which candidate I disliked least. That isn’t something you can do in a voting booth; with in-person voting you have to know who’s running and do your research before you vote.
Now, you may have heard that President Trump has a habit of taking shit about voting by mail, saying that it will result in fraud. This is a lie. We’ve had voting by mail for years, but called it “absentee voting”. If you’re serving overseas in the armed forces, this is how you vote. If you’re a college student who votes, this is most likely an option for you. Likewise if you’re a US citizen living and working abroad.
Absentee voting is safe and no more prone to fraud than in-person voting using a mechanical voting machine. Hell, you’re more likely to see election fraud in electronic voting machines manufactured by companies like Diebold, especially if they’re connected to the internet.
If no-excuse absentee voting is available in your state, please take advantage of it. If it isn’t, contact your representatives in the state legislature and demand reform. Every citizen should be able to vote by mail. It’s safer, especially in a plague year, and more convenient for workers and elderly citizens.