Voting should be encouraged

Barney Waldrop’s “His View” column on the dangers of in-person voting published Aug. 28 makes a number of points that could discourage people from making the safe choice to mail in their ballot for the pending election.

The first involves the possibility that your ballot could be invalidated because your signature has changed. This is especially concerning for the elderly who are at most risk if they vote in person.

Absentee ballots in Washington specifically ask for a contact information should they have a concern about your signature. Hopefully Idaho has something similar. His second target is the mail. He says mail ballots aren’t safe because he once defended someone who stole welfare checks from mailboxes.

Does he envision some wholesale harvesting of ballots mailed to voters or theft of completed ballots? Both seem very unlikely. If your ballot did not show up, go to the My Vote website in Washington or similar one in Idaho. If you are worried about your completed ballot being taken from your mailbox, drop it off at the post office. Third, he says your ballot won’t count as much because of wide voter fraud and cites something he heard from a state legislator in Spokane in 2008.

He goes on to say “unfortunately, records support” that there is actually very little fraud in mail in voting. What? He wants more fraud? Finally, he concludes with the possibility that an insurrection by a “well-funded and trained” group like we see in many American cities lately could see mail in voting as an “easy unconventional warfare target” but doesn’t provide any examples of how. Well, we will see but this shouldn’t keep any of us from voting — hopefully safely by mail.

Jeffrey Watt


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