COVID-19 is changing the way Americans vote. During this pandemic, people are voting by mail, by absentee ballots, and by early voting.
In this politically charged environment, voters are skeptical about the integrity of this election and whether or not their vote will count. These changes have only led to more controversy and confusion. President Trump himself has stated that the election will be inaccurate or possibly susceptible to corruption and voting fraud as a result of the changes undergone due to the advent of COVID-19. These changes include an increase in mail-in and absentee voting, as well as an increase in early voting. While studies do show that these methods are reliable and that the potential rate of fraudulent ballots is minuscule, many people are still concerned about the factors of this upcoming election.
Absentee voting is a system that has been around for the majority of American history. This system has been relied on by soldiers fighting overseas, people working outside the country, and anyone who cannot vote in person. This year, COVID-19 was added as a reason to request an absentee ballot, which has garnered both praise and criticism. Many people are concerned that this will lead to an incorrect count of votes. Richard Rosenberry is very concerned about this election.
“I believe that mail-in voting has worked in the past to help the people that cannot make it to the polling places on Election Day. However, I think that with it now being on such a large scale, people will find a way to commit voter fraud. This election is going to be close, and how are we supposed to believe in an outcome, if the method of voting is unreliable? Personally, I don’t trust it and I plan on voting in person on Election Day.” Rosenberry said.
Rosenberry is not the only one with these concerns. Many people are concerned about the reliability of absentee and mail-in voting. People across the country do not trust the system of absentee voting, including President Trump who has discussed that absentee voting may be unreliable. However, a study between The Washington Post and the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) found that the rate of voter fraud through mail was just 0.0025 percent in the 2016 and 2018 general elections.
There is also raising concerns over how the government is handling how absentee voting will work, including how these ballots will be validated and counted. There are many concerns over how ballots may be counted, or the lack thereof. Noah Custard is one of these voters who is concerned about this.
“I planned on voting with an absentee ballot, but after hearing about the fake drop off sites in California, and how peoples ballots have been found discarded, I just don’t trust it anymore. I can understand how people want to stay home because of covid, but I want to make sure that my vote is counted. This is the first election I am voting in and it is an important one, I want to know that my vote was counted.” Custard said.
Voters are very concerned about this upcoming election. A system that was supposed to help people vote, has led to voters mistrusting the system more than ever. However, these voters still plan on participating in their civic duty.