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Just say no to voting by mail

MinnPost explored voting by mail, and mentioned Washington state’s system, in a March 27 article, “Yes, Minnesota could move to vote-by-mail for the 2020 election. No, it won’t be easy.”  According to the Seattle Times, Washington state election officials threw out more than 47,000 votes in this spring’s all Vote-By-Mail (VBM) primary election cycle. These votes were not counted because not all voters remembered or cared to choose a political party on the front of their ballot. This problem does not arise in poll-based voting systems because the poll worker asks all voters which party-based ballot they prefer when they sign the poll book at the front entrance of the polling place.

The New York Times recently published an editorial advocating a nationwide switch to voting by mail. This would be a mistake. VBM routinely disenfranchises tens of thousands of voters who vote legally but then have their ballot disqualified through no fault of their own. This happens when arbitrary rules determine that a voter’s signature does not match the signature on file, or when their ballots are lost or delayed in the mail.

Voice of experience

My own experience with VBM here in Washington state includes having my ballot rejected and not counted — an experience shared by a growing number of my friends. When this happens, the county auditor mails a letter of explanation to each individual voter after disqualifying a ballot. Often voters have done everything correctly, but still receive a letter stating that their votes did not count. Additionally, there is frequent confusion about which ballot to cast. During every election, voters mail in ballots from previous elections, not realizing they are casting the wrong ballot. This is not an insignificant number of votes, and again not something that happens in poll-based voting systems.

These problems routinely occur in every election in states with all Vote-By-Mail systems, and tens of thousands of votes are discarded regularly, county by county. I have documented these problems for more than a decade after my late friend Andy Stephenson, a nationally known voting activist, cast his final ballot from his deathbed, only to have it rejected because his signature did not appear to match the one on file at the county.

Too vulnerable to malfeasance

Claims that the VBM systems work in Washington, or California, or Colorado are based only on the fact that no one looks for the problems that exist. These systems are altogether too vulnerable to malfeasance: Consider how last year’s election in North Carolina resulted in a “do-over” because just one person attempted to rig the election using absentee ballots.

Gentry Lange
Gentry Lange
Furthermore, absentee ballots are fundamentally not secret ballots. Individuals can sign and sell their absentee ballot for a buck or a cigarette. One spouse can coerce the other to sign the ballot and hand it over to them to vote fraudulently. This is the reason the absentee ballot system was originally very strictly limited, while secret ballots in polling places occurred throughout most of the country. A limited absentee system allows the voter who actually needs to vote remotely to appear before an election official and request an absentee ballot in person, reducing potential for abuse.

For those who believe mailed ballots would be better than votes tallied by computer, think again. Ballots received by mail are simply fed into computerized counting machines after they traverse the complexities of the U.S. Postal Service.

Moving to all-mail voting would be nothing short of a catastrophe for our democracy. Just consider how long it takes to count a vote by mail election. When I ran for city council in Bremerton, Washington, in 2009 there were roughly 7,000 votes cast, and that election alone took weeks to decide. This is what an all-mail voting system will do to the country, expanded to an exponentially larger scale. It will make all elections less accurate, less precise, and require far longer to tabulate. Elections that formerly took place at the school or down the street were counted in one night, but when ballots trickle in through the mail, the process takes a month or more to decide. Even the proverbial election for the county dogcatcher would not yield a result for weeks.

A better way: early voting centers

The more prudent route to greater voting access is to create and maintain early voting centers, open for a week in every county, in every state. Such centers could accommodate the needs of shift workers or those who might need to cast their ballots at night or on a different day. If the Covid-19 pandemic continues to limit social gathering until November, or returns in the fall, voting booths can be separated by the required 6 or more feet, and with the opportunity for all voters to vote for an entire week; this strategy would greatly reduce crowding. Establishing early voting centers is something municipalities could actually accomplish by this November. They also provide help for the disabled to vote in private, while preserving the secret ballot for all. States that currently vote by mail already vote up to a month early. So the establishment of early voting centers would not be a prohibitively disruptive system.

In conclusion, all 50 states would benefit from early-voting centers: shorter lines, ballots tabulated daily, and final tallies by the end of the week. However, the majority of states are woefully unprepared for a sudden transition to voting only by mail. A far better option would be the creation of early voting centers, open during the week of the election.

Gentry Lange is the director of The No Vote By Mail Project in Seattle.

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Comments (57)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/08/2020 - 09:33 am.

    I suspect that the author is a Republican, since Republicans benefit from low voter turnouts. As Trump said, if everyone voted Republicans would never win an election.
    One can cherry pick problems, but the fact is that wherever mail voting has been tried (that includes the state of Washington) it has lead to higher turnouts with no overall increase in problems.
    Voting in person is a 250 year old anachronism.
    ——
    Just to quote the blurb on their home page gives an idea of their general competence:
    “Just say no to Vote-By Mail!
    An MIT and CalTech showed 22% of mail-in votes go astray, never get counted. “

    • Submitted by Kim McRae on 04/09/2020 - 09:19 am.

      No he’s not a Republican…(he’s my cousin) and VBM has its issues but we should find ways it can enhance our current system.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/09/2020 - 01:29 pm.

        He’s not a Republican. He just makes baseless Republican arguments.

        • Submitted by Paul Richmond on 04/10/2020 - 11:18 pm.

          I’m not seeing that a 20% loss of ballots and the alternative being opening of early polling centers being Republican arguments.

          Have you followed Greg Pallast?

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/08/2020 - 09:36 am.

    And….
    “Contribute

    Your donation will help me build the site, edit a book, and grow the organization.

    Donations currently go to my Paypal account, Gentry Lange. In the future, I will set-up a organizational donation page for The No Vote By Mail Project. Any question, feel free to call or email me directly.”

    • Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 04/08/2020 - 01:16 pm.

      Are my gifts tax deductible like my gifts to taxpayer subsidized MinnPost?

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/08/2020 - 06:58 pm.

        Well Ron, it depends on their filing status. But if we are honest, our Minnpost donations are not tax deductible with the new tax laws. If you give or not is not the question, given a $24,800 exemption for a married couple, it is difficult if not impossible to hit that number. Following every loophole that AAII: https://www.aaii.com/ I could not even come close, that included piling all real estate taxes (4 properties) charitable contributions (significant) etc. etc. etc. into a single year. What we really have is a loop hole for folks that choose to suck the marrow out of everyone else, and take the tax deductions besides. From this perspective, yep, Trump and the Republicans gave them “lots of free stuff”

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/09/2020 - 09:47 am.

        Why do you keep saying that MinnPost is “taxpayer subsidized?”

        • Submitted by ian wade on 04/09/2020 - 06:20 pm.

          Probably for the same reason that, when denying climate change, they cite the ice age that was predicted back in the 70’s.

  3. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 04/08/2020 - 10:40 am.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts against VBM.

    “Protecting our democracy” begins by making all legitimate votes count and not opening up the system to even greater means of potential fraud and abuse.

    If anything – we should be guaranteeing that all legitimate votes count by installing a system of voter ID laws.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/08/2020 - 12:54 pm.

      Voter fraud prevention is a solution looking for a problem.
      The incidence of proven voter fraud is a lot less than the 4% error range of the voting process itself.

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/08/2020 - 08:24 pm.

        Wrong. Voter suppression via ID requirements are no solution at all, to anything. Stop referring to it as any sort of solution.

      • Submitted by Paul Richmond on 04/10/2020 - 11:22 pm.

        Voter Fraud and Voter Suppression are two different things.

        On Tuesday in Wisconsin Voter Suppression gave us 4 % of the Precincts open and a Republican swing vote on their Supreme Court with a case that could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of low income (mostly Democrat) voters ready to be heard…

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 04/08/2020 - 03:37 pm.

      Voter ID doesn’t serve any purpose and is in fact detrimental to the democratic process.

      First and foremost, it solves zero problems as numerous studies have shown that in-person voter impersonation is nearly non-existent. You’re advocating we create a nation-wide system to solve a problem that affects a couple dozen people per election cycle. When we have huge problems to address that affect millions, such as gerrymandering, the few people affected by voter impersonation doesn’t even make the top 1000 list of items we should use our limited resources on.

      Second, the ID disenfranchises more people than it helps. Thousands of people move right before any given election and it would take a miracle to get their new address verified, a new ID printed, and in their hands so they can head in to vote. Typically you’re looking at a couple of weeks to get that accomplished, during which time the election has already come and gone.

      That makes your cure worse than the disease.

      Third, why are you even bothering with a physical ID in this day and age? The government already has all the information you want to put on the ID, so why not just skip the ID entirely and make it all electronic? Many polling places already have electronic poll books, so it’s just a matter of adding a picture and voting status to an existing record.

      That makes a physical ID look olde fashioned, inefficient, and expensive. It’s like requiring every car to have an 8-track player: great idea circa 1977, but not so relevant today.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/08/2020 - 07:52 pm.

      Also seems” “Protecting our democracy” begins by making all legitimate votes count”: from this observation of your stand point: it also means making sure that legitimate voters don’t get theirs to count if they aren’t in your preferred party! Come on we can be honest can’t we?

    • Submitted by ian wade on 04/09/2020 - 03:22 pm.

      I know this destroys your narrative, but the votes that people cast for the democratic party are just as legitimate as those cast for republicans, Mr. Gotzman. In fact, maybe more so since what little voter fraud that’s been proven has been committed overwhelmingly by Republicans.

  4. Submitted by richard owens on 04/08/2020 - 10:53 am.

    Many of us have been voting by mail for a long time in MN.

    In fact, since our town hall fell into disrepair and was poorly accessible for people with disabilities or simply problems climbing a few steps, our township voted to vote by mail.

    Paper ballots, reviewable, recountable filled out with no time pressure, gives the voter a chance to find out who the judges are, who is running unopposed or what ballot initiatives really mean.

    Republicans vote this way too. We don’t have as many cheaters as those who don’t like easy registration and easy voting. We have honest voters who simply distrust those who suppress the vote based on their “fears”.

    Democracy is scary for the reactionaries. They don’t trust people and have more than a little in anti-social tendencies.

    This article is not helpful to anyone except those who do not want everyone to vote.

  5. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/08/2020 - 11:42 am.

    Golly gee whiz: Don’t vote by mail, but didn’t we just complete our census on line or by mail? How do they know who it was, how do they know we aren’t cheating, Isn’t the census as important as voting? You right wingers have to admit, Minnpost is open/fair enough to let folks post their Right wing conspiracy theories, way beyond what you would find-allowed/available on Faux, or one of the other right wing conspiracy sites!

    • Submitted by Barry Tungseth on 04/09/2020 - 12:12 pm.

      I agree 100%.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 04/09/2020 - 08:33 pm.

      The census forms make note that filling out the form is a legal obligation. Who will make sure that all of the undocumented Minnesotans have been counted? Do people actually get punished if they refuse? And 46% have returned their forms so far, so there’s that.

  6. Submitted by Cameron Parkhurst on 04/08/2020 - 12:01 pm.

    Expanding opportunities for early voting makes sense. Things the author did not mention is holding elections on a weekend or making national elections a national holiday.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/08/2020 - 12:51 pm.

      Of course.
      Those are things that would increase turnout, particularly in Democratic demographics.

    • Submitted by Dennis Litfin on 04/08/2020 - 05:30 pm.

      Very true Cameron, but those, as well as extending poll hours and making voting places more accessible, thwarts the grand republican voter suppression effort.

  7. Submitted by Gentry Lange on 04/08/2020 - 12:43 pm.

    I’m not a Republican. Your suspicion is incorrect. You want to talk about Voter Suppression? 6x as many black and minority votes are thrown out by Vote-By-Mail than white older votes.

    Don’t believe me, read Greg Palast’s latest article.

    https://www.gregpalast.com/our-choice-may-be-vote-by-mail-or-die/

    I’ve run as a Green Party candidate, and I’ve run campaigns for Democrats statewide here in Washington. I’m about as far from a Republican as you can get.

  8. Submitted by Matt Haas on 04/08/2020 - 12:54 pm.

    Good thing I don’t need to enter a party preference here I. Minnesota then.

    • Submitted by Doug Duwenhoegger on 04/13/2020 - 05:16 pm.

      Well actually if you voted in the primary you did. The disconnect is VBM leads to many uncounted ballots so it should be eliminated vs what can be done to fix VBM so all legitimate votes get counted.

  9. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/08/2020 - 02:25 pm.

    “The more prudent route to greater voting access is to create and maintain early voting centers, open for a week in every county, in every state. Such centers could accommodate the needs of shift workers or those who might need to cast their ballots at night or on a different day.”

    Oh, Oh:

    Mr. Gentry, if he is a Republican, will be shown the door for such an almost reasonable statement. Of course the little detail is “by county”. Hennepin county: 1.25m people.

    Our polling place is in a neighbor’s residence. A small precinct for sure. In 30 years I have never waited more than 2 minutes to get my ballot. If someone is forced to wait for hours to vote they have been effectively disenfranchised and the election results should be disqualified.

    • Submitted by Elsa Mack on 04/09/2020 - 08:16 am.

      Here, though, the author shows he isn’t really familiar with Minnesota’s current voting system. We already have early voting, and for more than a week before the election. I voted early in 2016, and plan to do so again this year.

  10. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 04/08/2020 - 02:51 pm.

    The inherent contradiction in this piece is the author[s argument that no voting should be by mail, but we should permit lots more early voting. As if there were no errors in early voting, and tons of errors suddenly on mail-in ballots that are universally sent out to all registered voters.

    As a long-time college instructor who knows that any audience has to be educated about how and when to do their duty–be it turn in a term paper on time and to specifications, and where to go for the final exam–we can look to constant repetition of instructions to help out here, Guide the public to correct voting procedures, and give them chances to get it right. Reminders. Like the “Have you included the correct half of your bill with your check? Have you signed your check?” indications on return-mail envelops for utilities. Public service campaigns on TV and radio and in social media (okay, maybe not social media, which are rife with garbage).

    We need to include everybody’s vote. And this guy, a Republican, doesn’t like the way Washington state–a mail ballot state–is so thoroughly blue these days.

  11. Submitted by ian wade on 04/08/2020 - 03:28 pm.

    It’s always a hoot when Repubs talk about protecting democracy at the same time that they’re doing everything they can to subvert it.

  12. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 04/08/2020 - 03:53 pm.

    If there are issues with the mail-in ballot option, then wouldn’t it make more sense to address those issues rather than throw out the entire system?

    The author mentions that a lot of votes are thrown out because people don’t declare a party affiliation when they vote. I’m not sure how Washington’s laws drive their elections, but here in Minnesota that requirement is only in play during the primaries. And that’s because the parties require it, not the state. Talk to the party heads, get them to take that requirement off, and the problem is solved.

    For late arriving mail-in ballots, require that they’re post marked by a certain date and then say they have to arrive by another day, say two weeks hence to cover for the prospect that mail delivery is variable. We already do that for absentee ballots, in which case they need to arrive by the day of the election in order to be counted.

    Again, those aren’t insurmountable obstacles that require scrapping the system. We’re likely to have another virus lock-down come fall, so it’s in our best interest to start planning now for a remote election so we can keep everyone safe and healthy.

  13. Submitted by kurt nelson on 04/08/2020 - 05:28 pm.

    The author didn’t include that voter fraud is a felony, unlike say, being an undocumented immigrant, which is a civil offense. So why would someone risk a felony over trading a vote for a smoke, or a dollar, or for that matter, why would anyone risk a felony to vote for the dimwit in the white house.

    Voter fraud takes many forms, not merely someone attempting to impersonate somebody else. Since this is the only type of fraud having an I.D. would foil, and since there are no cases of this type of fraud being perpetrated, what’s the point.

  14. Submitted by Solly Johnson on 04/08/2020 - 07:47 pm.

    Oregon has had a vote by mail system for over 20 years in which ballots are mailed to all eligible voters three weeks before an election and voters can mail their completed ballots or drop them off at strategic locations throughout the state. A large majority of residents and members of both major political parties support their system stating it prevents hacking and encourages participation.

    • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 04/09/2020 - 05:08 pm.

      Nineteen-year (1984-2003) resident of Oregon here.

      In fact, if you’re really absent-minded, you can walk your ballot into the county courthouse on Election Day, and as long as you’re in line to submit it by 8:00PM, your vote gets counted.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 04/10/2020 - 05:20 pm.

      No same day registration or vouching doesn’t sound so bad. Do voters have to register in person or is that by mail too?

      • Submitted by Solly Johnson on 04/10/2020 - 08:49 pm.

        My comments were based on information given to me by close relatives who have lived in Oregon for a number of years. They stated that by having Oregon drivers’ licenses they were able to register by mail and were very happy with the ease of registration and voting.

  15. Submitted by Ron Quido on 04/08/2020 - 09:26 pm.

    Good Washington Post article on this topic: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/06/more-voting-by-mail-would-make-2020-election-safer-our-health-it-comes-with-risks-its-own/

    My takeaway si that you don’t want the 2020 presidential election to be the first nationwide test of VBM.

  16. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/09/2020 - 06:08 am.

    Do you want to line up to vote in person?

  17. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/09/2020 - 08:14 am.

    My thanks to previous commentators for exposing the logical and practical contradictions throughout Mr. Lange’s piece. He’s presenting us with a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist except in the minds of those paranoid enough, or far enough to the right politically. As mentioned by previous commentators, there’s plenty of research to show that there’s no factual basis for claims of significant voter fraud.

    One is tempted to mention the real problem: Republicans – or, if you will, “conservatives” – are increasingly in the minority except in localized areas. It’s a frustrating state of affairs for them, and vote suppression has been shown to work fairly well to minimize that minority status, thus relieving their emotional distress. To paraphrase an unintended truthful comment by the Current Occupant, “If you let everybody vote who’s eligible, Republicans would never win an election again.” I’d guess that, here in Minnesota, Ms. Carnahan, Mr. Daudt and Mr. Gazelka are all well aware of that slip of the tongue.

  18. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 04/09/2020 - 08:15 am.

    “The bill he proposed would send ballots by mail to every registered voter in Minnesota.’ (MN secretary of State)

    How man States have been forced to clean up their voter registration list? How many names have been “purged” from State registration lists? Why were these list cleaned up?

    Safe – secure -verified – legal votes need to be counted in order to “protect our democracy.”

    Treating ballots as bulk mail wall mart ads is not democracy. This method is ripe for fraud and the harvesting of votes.

    Vote security is need during the registration process – absentee ballot process – as well as election day.

    I know the DFL types never want a crisis to go to waste – but sacrificing secure elections is not on option for a political agenda.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/09/2020 - 09:19 am.

      So, “Treating ballots as bulk mail wall mart ads is not democracy. This method is ripe for fraud and the harvesting of votes.”
      Since the USPS is such an unsafe medium, why does the IRS, Medicare, Social Security, City, State, County, Federal Taxing agencies, Utility companies, Census, etc. etc. etc. use it for billings and collections? Don’t they really care about “fraud and harvesting of” $?

      • Submitted by Barry Tungseth on 04/09/2020 - 12:18 pm.

        You`ll never get Trump supporters to understand that piece of logic my friend. They prefer alternative facts, and con-man tactics, and name calling to that boost their ego.

  19. Submitted by MARC ANDERSON on 04/09/2020 - 08:29 am.

    voting by mail, early voting, week long voting, no voter ID law – we should use all means necessary to ensure as many people vote as possible. if problems arise we can deal with them at that time. since we don’t currently have massive voter fraud issues why not expand potential and capacity in all ways that we can and tweak as we go.

  20. Submitted by Max Hailperin on 04/09/2020 - 08:40 am.

    Using early voting centers and voting by mail are not mutually exclusive and neither is new to Minnesota. To take one example, in the 2018 general election, Minneapolis offered 4 early voting centers distributed throughout the city and heavily promoted both this option and the option of voting by mail using an absentee ballot. Roughly 1/8 the voters chose each of these two options, with the remaining 3/4 choosing to vote in traditional precinct polling places on election day. If the COVID-19 pandemic were to necessitate forgoing the traditional precinct polling places, the question is how the other two channels of voting would be scaled up to take up the slack. (The early voting centers would now be more general voting centers, operating on election day as well as early.) Is it as reasonable to envision scaling up the voting center use by a factor of 7, while maintaining suitable infection control, as it is to envision scaling up the use of mailed-in ballots by that same factor of 7? Or perhaps doubling the voting center use while increasing the mailed-in ballots by a factor of 6? These numbers shouldn’t be taken as exact, and the reality needs to be recognized that more people are interested in the 2020 races than those that were on the ballot in 2018. But they do give some sense of what the actual question is: not which form of voting to use, but how much to scale up each form.

  21. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 04/09/2020 - 10:23 am.

    I am curious why this article is here in Community Voices. I searched this dude and the top returns don’t show any other articles written by him, it has his facebook, Twitter and all that but this is the only article. I didn’t see any in his home state of Washington? I guess some folks consider community as very wide ranging, but why was our community here in Minneapolis chosen as a test run for his writings? Apparently he and his cousin are lurking and reading comments, but neither says where they are? Again, why is this article here, what connection is there to our community?

  22. Submitted by Gentry Lange on 04/09/2020 - 12:18 pm.

    Again, I’m not a Republican. At best I’m an independent. I despise Donald Trump. I’m no fan of Republicans. I cited an election, North Carolina, where a Republican operative rigged an election resulting in a do-over.

    I ran as a Green Party candidate in 2005. You can look it up. I ran in 2008 for City Council. In 2004, I ran Andy Stephenson’s campaign for Secretary of State, Democrat. I’ve worked a long-time against computerized voting, and for voting integrity.

    As for other articles I’ve written, here’s 89 of them. Not all of them get picked up for publication.

    https://novbm.wordpress.com/2008/04/24/all-time-top-must-read-articles-by-the-no-vote-by-mail-project/

    The Christian Science Monitor was the last to talk to me. I haven’t been writing much lately, why? Because I’m tired of arguing about this subject. I started in 2005 writing about the problems of Vote-By-Mail. 15 years later, people love it. Who am I to waste my time trying to convince anyone of the problems. Just some guy, some dude.

    I can go on endlessly about the problems we face to provide safe, secure, accurate and precise voting systems. But why? No one cares. You all have your pet opinions. You all think I’m a Republican. Fine.

    And oddly enough, Republicans agree with you, even though most the absentee ballot rigging has been done by Republicans. At least that I’ve dug up. Greg Palast wrote a pretty good piece on the problems with Voting By Mail as well, but in the end embraced the idea. Even though his article cited even worse problems than I have.

    Go ahead and vote by mail. The dangers and problems inherent in the system be damned. I just don’t care anymore.

    I’m not a Republican. I’m just a dude that’s researched problems with vote-by-mail for over a decade. But I give up. Use whatever system they tell you is safe. Go for it.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/09/2020 - 03:52 pm.

      Here is some advice: if you don’t want people to think you are a Republican, don’t use baseless Republican arguments.

  23. Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/09/2020 - 01:29 pm.

    I have tried to comment twice now, and both times it hasn’t showed up. Obviously, my comments were very critical of this piece, but I think my points were valid.

    The bit that really set me off was the idea of selling votes for a buck or a cigarette. There were a couple of instances years ago where people transporting voters were giving out packs of cigarettes to people of color. Like the tiny handful of voter fraud cases that are used to justify voter ID laws and other voter suppression, this argument is completely without merit. If you are wondering why people think this guy is a Republican, it is because he is making Republican arguments. There is another word I would use, which I think got my comment screened, but it starts with the same letter.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/10/2020 - 10:13 am.

      Revisionist?

      When the horror stories about people selling their vote for a dollar or a pack of smokes come up, no one who is horrified ever seems to think how many people would be needed to make a difference in even a close election. Handing out cigarettes to, say, 200 people, getting them to the polling place, and hoping that all of them remember how they’s supposed to vote would seem to be, at the very least, inefficient. Could you keep that many people quiet about it for any length of time?

  24. Submitted by Howard Miller on 04/09/2020 - 03:43 pm.

    There are many things we could try to ensure ALL VOTERS get a chance to cast their ballot.

    Extending national elections for a full week, with the weekend squarely in the middle of that week.

    Vote by mail.

    Vote in person.

    Vote by secure internet connections.

    Vote by oral interview, run by people who notarize their document containing your vote.

    Seems political parties are always trying to game who gets to vote, with advantage to Republicans in recent history with their voter suppression techniques.

    The real problem with voting is not the technical methods …. it is the bad faith of partisans to rig it their way, instead of honoring the right of all citizens to vote in elections. We need people of good faith running elections. I believe Minnesotans are up to that challenge.

    The ones howling about vote by mail lately are our Mn Republican elected officials. Is there enough good faith among them to run clean elections in any form? The national ones have confessed to their desire to suppress likely Democratic voters from enjoying their voting rights. I expect more from Minnesota citizens frankly

  25. Submitted by Wade Brezina on 04/10/2020 - 09:48 pm.

    Hmm.. Some would argue that we need ID to ensure fair elections. Some would argue that we need ID for secure boarders. Some would argue that we can’t vote by mail because of fraud. Just how do most people get their ID’s and Passports?

  26. Submitted by Lonny Roseland on 04/11/2020 - 03:06 pm.

    I am a person who uses a wheelchair. Getting out to vote is pretty easy so if you can’t vote in person, your vote shouldn’t count because it doesn’t mean much to you. I would CRAWL IN THE SNOW to vote, it means that much to me! If you don’t really care, DON’T VOTE! Leaving voting for those who really CARE!

    • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 04/12/2020 - 06:39 am.

      I do hope you are aware that we are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic which is transmissible by close contact. And that requiring people to gather in close quarters to vote in person is almost certain to exacerbate transmission of the disease that none of us have any natural immunities to. You are aware of that, right?

      This has nothing to do with whether or not someone cares about voting. In fact, the proposals for vote by mail are precisely BECAUSE those who propose it care deeply about everyone’s ability to vote without putting their health at risk. Just like Grandma shouldn’t have to risk death to re-open the country’s economy, voters shouldn’t have to risk death to exercise their franchise to vote.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/12/2020 - 10:04 am.

      So is crawling in the snow a new requirement for voting? i.e. you aren’t willing to crawl in the snow, you really don’t deserve the right to vote? And if you have places that don’t have snow, what twice as far in the desert? And if you are on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean, you have to swim for an hour in shark infested waters? And if you are bed ridden, I don’t know, you evidently just don’t care enough, so you lose your right to vote? Should we continue with the non-sense?

  27. Submitted by Julie Stroeve on 04/13/2020 - 11:30 am.

    What Gentry is describing is about education – to educate voters voting by mail – and clear and concise form instructions. These are quite readily addressed by competent people in charge of voting by mail. Washington State is more than competent to work out the kinks experienced in the primary. Voting by mail would be especially helpful in rural states – the caucus system is out of control and unreliable. The times, they are a’changing.

  28. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 04/13/2020 - 07:53 pm.

    Writing down your party is an unnecessary requirement and in some senses a violation of the secret ballot. We are not going to copy the stupid requirements of other states. Second, when as in Minnesota one party is allowed to not allow any opposition to an incumbent, it is an invitation to cross over and vote for the weakest candidate of another party. There is literally nothing to prevent voters from doing that, but parties should never be allow to monopolize an election. Other countries get vastly higher voting rates than the US by how they design the election process. Frankly, if more people vote, Republicans lose, because their agenda is promoting the interests of the rich.

  29. Submitted by J Sutherland on 04/14/2020 - 07:54 am.

    One item that has brought me to MINNPOST is that, so far (and it’s early in my MINNPOST experience) is that I don’t feel the partisanship within the content provided as I feel from almost every other news outlet that exists…..then I read the posts, which, I probably shouldn’t do. To those who post, opinons are great. I get that, but the labeling needs to stop and it might as well start here….must be a republican, must be a democrat etc., etc. – that is so annoying…we can be better than that here, or can’t we….have a great Tuesday…

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