Mail-in voting: A Guide to Sending Your Ballot and Potential Complications

Mail-in voting: A Guide to Sending Your Ballot and Potential Complications

James Kolvites, Staff Writer

Illustrations by Ted Rall

This year’s presidential election has been thrown into chaos by a global pandemic, forcing us to find new ways to virtually continue life. Although mail-in voting is currently considered as the most feasible way to continue our election without violating government health authorities regulations, many experts believe that voter fraud and mistakes could lead to serious issues in this year’s election. Explaining to voters the safest and most effective way of voting from home could be the difference between a seamless voting process and a disastrous election, dividing our country even more, in a time of uncertainty.

In New Jersey, the voting registration deadline is October 13th and the registrant must complete a Voter Registration Application. You can mail or deliver the Voter Registration Application to your county election officials. To register online you will need: a registered drivers license, non-driver identification card, or social security number. Mail-in voting is helpful for vulnerable populations, such as elderly living by themselves, as well as nursing home residents. According to a Stanford study, mail-in voting increases turnout by 2 percent. 

This year’s election may seem unproblematic, however, there are a lot of possibilities for voter fraud, arming both parties with accusations to be hurled at each other. President Trump is against mail-in voting and believes, “mail-in voting will lead to massive fraud and abuse.”  Amber McReynolds, a former Colorado election official and now the CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute, and Charles Stewart, director of the MIT Election Data and Science Lab, claim that 250 million mail-in ballots have been sent, and 143 have been fraudulent. These rates of fraud are very low, but they believe that, “Expanding voting by mail will be a challenge in most states in 2020.”

It’s hard to keep track of all the changes being made to our everyday life and voting isn’t always the top of your to-do list, however making sure your ballot is registered exemplifies more than just a vote, but the overall ideals our country is based upon. Enacting your constitutional right to vote for change is what has shaped our country for centuries and defined American values.

-If you have any more inquiries about mail-in voting, contact Somerset County Board of Elections.