Mail in Voting: What is it?

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Ansley Pounds, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

MATTHEWS, NC-2020. With so much uncertainty amidst the coronavirus global pandemic, it is easy to forget that it’s an election year. In a time where good leadership is needed more than ever, it is necessary to understand the specifics of voting and why it is important.

These are unconventional times so that leads to an unconventional election and modes of voting, also known as mail-in voting.

So the question is: what exactly is mail-in voting? Both universal vote by mail and absentee voting are methods of mail-in voting. Universal vote by mail is where states mail ballots to voters for them to fill out and mail back. Absentee balloting on the other hand requires the voter to request a ballot.

Although this option has been available in past years, this is the first time that it is primarily encouraged because of coronavirus health and safety concerns with indoor voting.

In an effort to inform voters, citizens need answers to lingering questions regarding the unknowns of mail-in voting. Is this a safe way to vote or will my vote be tampered with? Is this fair?

Kristen Mavromatis of the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections said, “We have always had safeguards in place, audits, security measures to ensure each vote is counted.”

Many people are asking these questions as we are getting closer to requesting those ballots. This may change the voter turnout and alter voter turnout for both parties. Mavromatis said, “changes in method typically do not affect voter turnout.”

One thing is for sure and that is that this election is one like no other. No or very few “I voted” stickers. Fewer people waiting in line for their turn to vote at their precinct. With so many unforeseen challenges, some even wonder if this election will work at all. Even though Mavromatis says, “we have always had no excuse absentee by mail,” it is still not as favored as in-person voting.

As American citizens, the most important thing is exercising the right to vote, whether the ballet is mailed in or filled out in-person, everyone will have an option to exercise their right to vote.

For more information, see the home page of the North Carolina State Board of Elections.