Mail-In Voting Concerns
To the Editor:
Thank you for a reasoned argument. I must respectfully disagree with some of your premises, however.
Mail-in voter fraud is rare because, in general, mail-in voting is a small subset of all voting. If it gets larger, then before it is instituted rules and procedures must be put in place. For example, how long will voting be conducted? If a ballot is postmarked before midnight on election day will it be accepted and counted, even if it is delayed or arrives several days after election day? Remember, no matter when it is received, the IRS and State Department of Revenue consider your taxes paid on time if the postmark is prior to midnight on April 15th.
I have no issue with the Post Office and their delivery, they do a great job. But ask Newtown Police how many complaints of mailbox vandalism they handle?
What happens after it is placed in your mailbox? Mail theft used to be a problem when Social Security mailed checks. One reason they essentially mandate direct deposit now. What about places where aggregate mail is dropped off to be placed in either boxes or delivered to residents by non USPS staff? I received a Census form at both my PO Box and my actual residence.
I saw the drop off boxes in Oregon and immediately thought they were susceptible to vandalism and damage to ballots inside.
A Town Clerk in a city nearby just threatened to resign because the legislative body would not increase her budget to allow for mailing ballots to all voters. Can you require a stamp to return your vote? 55-cents is small, but is it not a poll tax and unconstitutional. I think ballots are too important to be entrusted to bulk mail. How many military and State Department generic ballots does our Town Clerk receive on average? I was overseas in 2016 and the Embassy offered us the chance to fill out a “Federal Only” ballot and send it to the town.
The Legislature has still not addressed (and asked to by the Courts) what to do with a ballot and the voter dies before election day. (This actually happened in Hartford and the court said it was a matter for the Legislature to address.)
None of these problems are insurmountable, but they need to be addressed before we go to mail-in voting.
Charles L. Shaw
5 Sturges Road, Newtown June 30, 2020