Sean Keohane / Equinox Staff

With all that has happened this year, I think many of us have forgotten that it is an election year. I, for one, have definitely caught myself letting it slip from my mind. In addition to it being an election year, our country has faced many protests, unforgivable actions across party lines and a global pandemic. Given how the coronavirus is playing out, it has lead many people to ask whether or not we should be voting in person or through the mail.

I think that a hybrid voting model is something we should look at. Essentially, if our country can protest and hold large functions and no one is going to stop it, then why can’t we vote in person. Black Lives Matter, George Floyd’s funeral and the anti-mask events have all been large gatherings without masks and social distancing. Whether you agree with any of these or not, we can all admit these were large, public gatherings and while we haven’t seen a spike in cases, we can assume there was an increase as a result of these gatherings. And there was probably some disregard to either of these gatherings due to media bias.

I think if we can do stuff like this in-person, we can vote in-person, with distancing and masks of course. We can have voting take a series of days or a week and we could do it like testing, where people go on days that correspond with their last names. Then, towards the end of the week, one day can be for the stragglers who were not able to make it on the days in which they were signed up for. Same day voter registration could happen in a different part of the building and then the people who just registered could vote where they registered.

I think that if there are people, due to age, diseases, general concern for being in public or even those who are hospitalized could all be able to vote via the mail, through the United States Postal Service, which should still continue to run and we should all get out and support our local postal service.

I think that this model would work well. I believe it would appease people who would prefer to be in-person. I know personally that I prefer to do stuff in-person and I cannot imagine I would be the only one but it would also be good for people who do not feel comfortable or safe for other people.

Personally, I think that voting in person is a very effective way to carry out the election. People have been voting in person, essentially, since the founding of the country and because of this, in-person voting is ultimately the better option. And given how important this election is I think voting in-person would be better. You would have less people coming into contact with private ballots and therefore could help to hinder people from fraudulent activities, rigging the election and also, postal workers could just lose ballots as it happens with lots of letters and packages every day. Overall, I think this is a better way to run an election.

However, I do think that because of the situation we as a society are in right now that voting by mail is ultimately safer. It saves the elderly or those more prone to catching diseases from coming into contact with this deadly virus. I think it is a good option and every year people vote absentee through the same anyway. So, really, it is very similar but there are just more people submitting ballots this way this year. I think it is unsafe this way due to many uncertainties but regardless, this is a year full of uncertainties so, in the grand scheme of things, what is one more.

I think everyone has a right to feel how they feel about this situation and because of this everyone should vote based on their situations.

DISCLAIMER: This article is the sole opinion of Lydia Mardin

 

Lydia Mardin can be contacted at:

lmardin@kscequinox.com