Voting by mail is our safest option this election

Abigail Douglass

The 2020 presidential election is rapidly approaching. People are wondering how we can all vote in this election without contributing to the spread of COVID-19. In the midst of the pandemic, voting by mail is probably the safest way for us to do our civic duty while practicing the recommended social distancing.
The current administration is doing everything in their power to convince people that voting by mail isn’t secure.
However, there’s nothing that says voting by mail puts your vote at more risk of tampering than voting at your local polling place.
The most vocal opponents of mail in voting include President Trump and Attorney General William Barr. One does not have to look very hard to see that their claims are not only false, but hypocritical.
They, as well as many other officials in the current administration, entrust their vote to the mail-in system which they claim is particularly susceptible to corruption and fraud.
Voter fraud is a rare phenomenon even in states that hold elections entirely by mail. Voting by mail is a great way to ensure that all citizens can vote regardless of their ability to make it to the polls.
We need to question why the current administration is so focused on preventing the widespread use of mail-in voting. Many people are going to avoid polling places in favor of social distancing.
Illinois and Iowa voters do not need to give an excuse to request a mail-in ballot.
Mailing in one’s vote is an excellent way to make sure one’s voice is heard. By attempting to discourage people from mailing in their vote, they are attempting to silence us.
The current state of the United States Postal Service (USPS) has many people worried that their vote will not be counted in time for the election.
Changes made by Trump’s pick for Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, have majorly confused the mail system at the USPS. Delivery times have slowed to a crawling pace at a time where many are forced to rely on a timely system in order to vote. Protests have sprung up against the sudden changes made.
For students here at Augustana, this form of voting could be essential. Even if we’re going to be stuck on campus, voting by mail is still an option. And it’s arguably the safest way to make sure that your vote is counted in this election.
Augustana students should request an absentee ballot to be sent to their mailbox if they haven’t already. Visiting is probably the simplest way to do this, but one can also visit their state’s board of elections website to request a ballot.
If you want to make sure you obtain your ballot and that your vote is counted on time, you should request and send in your ballot now.
We should all be voting by mail if possible. If you decide not to vote by mail, however, please make sure you visit your local polling place this November.
Remember to wear a face covering and practice social distancing. We must fight for the protection of our civil liberties.