By Annette Quijada
Mail-in voting has always been an effective way of voting, but in this political climate it’s become problematic and has created more issues today than in previous years.
The 2020 presidential election is expected to have the highest number of mail in ballots due to the pandemic. Being able to mail in is supposed to be a stress-free and safe way that Americans could participate in their country, but instead they’re being forced to overthink and worry about the negatives that emerged this year with voting. The biggest issue with the mail-in ballots is the increased amount of voter suppression that comes with it.
President Donald Trump has gone out of his way to bash mail ballots. He has tweeted, “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that mail-in-ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.” He also called the election rigged due to mail-ins. His proclamations scream voter suppression. Trump is igniting fear toward voters by claiming that their votes will be invalid. Most would think that the president would be focused on his citizens being able to vote without running the risk of contracting a deadly virus.
Trump has also gone out of his way to say that votes counted after election night are not to be considered part of the election. In response, voters have rushed to get their ballots and send them right back. However, a lot of citizens have claimed to not have received their ballots in the mail, this will cause plenty of provisional votes. These situations have brought immense stress to voters who fear their ballot won’t get counted on time because of its late arrival. This has plenty to do with the president’s attack on the United States Postal Service. Trump’s steps into defunding the post office is another one of his tools to create voter suppression. He also appointed Louis Dejoy as the postmaster general who ordered the post office to slow down mail and cut overtime. Dejoy also ordered the sorting machines to be stripped of their parts for “maintenance,” but later stated that they couldn’t be reassembled. It’s caused delays with mail being backtracked for weeks now and since then there’s been a few federal judges in different states who’ve ordered the U.S. postal service to take priority in delivering ballots on time.
Besides the president’s antics, there’s also been a range of issues when it comes to the ballot-drop-off boxes. For one, it was reported by National Public Radio (NPR.org) and other news outlets that the California Republican Party placed about 50 unauthorized ballot boxes in California with signs labeling the boxes “official.” Although, since then, these boxes have been removed. There’s no doubt the cruelty behind the intent to trick voters, especially in a state that is known to vote blue.
There’s also been mysterious fires being ignited in ballot drop off boxes. One of these incidents took place on Oct. 20, in Baldwin Park and it’s taking place all over the country. In Baldwin Park, there were about 100 ballots that were damaged. The LA Times reported that firefighters did their best and ended up cutting the box with a power saw. The worst part is, how does one notify those voters when their ballots are turned to ashes. It’s quite infuriating what a negative influence politicians have on citizens to convince them to willingly participate in a form of voter suppression.
From the start of the election, politicians needed to take the steps into helping things go smoothly while the country is facing a pandemic. The House of Representatives had tried passing bills for election security, but the Senate refused to pass them. Politicians are too consumed on who’s going to win the presidential election, instead of ensuring that citizens are safe and successful in voting, whether it’s at the polls, at ballot box locations or through mail.