In the Boomer Blog of August 26, 2020, there is a discussion about voting, ballots and voter suppression. Since there are two methods currently being used to “vote by mail,” clarification is needed.
1. Absentee ballot method (“pull a ballot”)
This is the method we have in Champaign County. You submit an application for a ballot to the Board of Elections, they verify your eligibility, and send you the correct ballot for your precinct. You then either mail your completed ballot to, or drop it off at, the Board of Elections. This method works well; it makes voting easy and ensures all votes cast are legitimate.
2. Mass Mailing Method (“push a ballot”)
This is the method people are rightly objecting to. We do not use this method in Champaign County but it is being promoted and used in other states. This is where the latest voter rolls are used to mass mail ballots out. The problem with this method is even people who have moved and people who have died will be sent a ballot at their last known address. The question is: who is receiving and filling out these ballots, since it is not the person who has moved or who has died. Those who object to the “push” ballot method are not engaging in voter suppression. With this method there is too great a potential for fraud; there is no guarantee that all votes cast are legitimate. That is why everyone should object to this method.
Because both methods use the US postal service, they are both being lumped together as “mail in voting.” In order to prevent confusion, the term “mail in voting” should not be used for both the “pull” and the “push” ballot methods. One safeguards the validity of the election; the other does not. There is a clear distinction.
Robert and Barbara Behling