Should we vote by mail?

Johnson City Press • Apr 6, 2020 at 6:00 AM

As the novel coronavirus spreads in the United States, and most citizens are under stay-at-home orders from their governors, some are wondering how the pandemic will affect this year’s elections.

Some states delayed their presidential preference primaries, hoping the threat of illness will pass. Wisconsin is scheduled to vote Tuesday, but its governor, after first being resistant, is now calling for a delay and an expansion of voting by mail.

Tennessee already held its presidential primary on Super Tuesday, but we have U.S. congressional and state legislative primaries in August. It’s unclear whether the danger of COVID-19 will have passed by then.

Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington already send mail-in ballots to voters, and California and Utah give counties the option to allow voting by mail.

Some worry voting by mail will increase voter fraud, which currently occurs at a low rate, while others believe it could increase voter participation, which also currently occurs at a low rate.

It’s another issue that the pandemic has pushed to the forefront, so we thought we’d ask you to weigh in.

Should Tennessee allow any citizens to vote by mail? What do you believe are the risks and benefits of it? What safeguards do you believe should be in place to prevent fraud?

Send your answers to [email protected]. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length.

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