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Funding for Mail-In Voting Could Be a Flashpoint in Debate Over ‘Phase 4’ COVID-19 Relief Bill - Do You Support It?
by Causes
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  • Ingrid
    Voted Support

    I have been a deputized election clerk in Maine for several years and several elections. Voting in Maine uses only paper ballots. Mail-in voting in this state has a process that is quite secure. Mail-in ballots have signatures on the outside envelope which can be compared to signatures on file. Each mail-in ballot is matched to voter on voter rolls and indicated as that vote received. Each voter who votes in person also has their name and address confirmed and fact they voted similarly noted by their name. (This process is also re-confirmed by another team who issues the ballot, prior to entering the voting booth.). This way, each person can only have one vote. Since ALL ballots are paper ones, all are hand counted. Again, this is done in 25 ballot batches by teams of two, one Democrat and one Republican (so registered!) facing each other across a table: each ballot in a batch is first counted and tallied by one person, then batches exchanged across the table and recounted and tallied. Results must correlate; if they do not, that batch gets recounted by same process. Final correlated tally goes with each batch to the formal Election Clerk, who records and tracks the tallies. At the end of the night, the final full tally is submitted to the Secretary of State’s office, and the paper ballots all are put in a locked box to be carried by courier to the Sec of State, as well as an electronic tally on a special secure password protected electronic file - similar to but much more secure than a flash drive - which is also sent to the Sec of State by certified mail. This is pretty darn tamper-proof. The only thing a full mail-in-vote-by-mail would do to this process is change one sort of paper ballot for another. Yes, it would require some additional state-issued new guidance delineating the process for confirming voter rolls by the Town Clerk & Election Clerk, and mailing a lot more ballots with additional cost to the towns, and revision of regulation re confirming mailed back ballots, since not all voters may have signatures on file, but the counting and recording process would be the same. So-called “ballot-stuffing” or people voting for other people or duplicate voting by same person just is not an issue. As to “ dead people voting”: that is pretty much a myth. While there might be a question if someone were to vote early by absentee voting, and then subsequently die before votes are counted at the election, the fact that person voted while still alive might determine the validity of the vote. This would not be a frequent occurrence, in any case - certainly not in numbers high enough to seriously effect a national election, even with the still-rising Covid-19 death tolls. This need for absentee voting/universal mail-in voting in a time of pandemic is something to be supported with additional funding for the added costs, and for the support of the U.S. Postal Service, needed to make it happen.

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