October 14, 2020

Writing in Response to Recent Letter Regarding Problems With Mail-In Voting

To the Editor:

I would like to say a few words in response to Mr. Pyle’s recent letter regarding his problems with  mail-in voting [“Noting That Mail-In Voting Can Have Too Many Problems For Such a Crucial Process,” Mailbox, October 7]. I would like to point out that this manner of casting a ballot has been with us and used successfully for many elections. Only recently, and as part of a concerted disinformation campaign, has its efficacy been called into question. Mr. Pyle is mistaken on several of his points.

No. 1: If Mr. Pyle’s address has received a ballot for someone who does not reside there, it’s because that someone has neglected to inform the proper offices of her change of residence. As voters and citizens, it is up to us, not the government, to insure that our voter information is correct and up to date.

No. 2: It is also up to us as individual voters and citizens to insure that our signatures are up to date. This is a vital part of our voting profile, no matter how we cast out ballot. If there is any question, go to the town hall and update your signature!

No. 3:  It’s up to each and every one of us to “follow directions exactly”!  It’s not that difficult.

No. 4:  Especially now, in this time of COVID, it’s very possible that the poll workers you might encounter will be new to the job and going out of their way to perform a civic duty under much less than optimum conditions. In any case, this is another process entirely and is not comparable to mail-in voting in any way. Mr. Pyle is comparing the proverbial apples and oranges here.

No. 5:  See No. 4.

No. 6:  There is no law that a voter must use mail-in voting! If there is a disability of any kind, however, our current system of in-person voting with mail-in voting and early balloting provides the best possible combination of enabling factors to ensure that every voter, including the disabled, has the opportunity to cast his or her ballot.

No. 7 and No. 8: In the end, we have to trust our local elected officials to ensure the physical integrity of our elections. It’s a major part of the job for which they were elected.  

We are at far greater risk of losing out very fragile democracy from social media and partisan propaganda and from voter suppression than we are from any on-site meddling with individual ballots. We are in the greatest fight for this republic since its founding, and I would suggest that we keep our eyes firmly on the forest rather than Mr. Pyle’s trees.

Paul B. Kelley
Witherspoon Lane