To the editor:

The COVID-19 pandemic will most likely affect the safety of in-person voting in November. 

We’ve witnessed what happens when states like Georgia fail to prepare. Voters should not have to choose between their civil rights and their health. Of all U.S. adults, 72%, including 65% of Republicans, support a requirement for mail-in ballots this November. 

To transition efficiently and securely, states without universal mail ballots need federal funding to expand vote-by-mail infrastructure.

In the last two federal elections, one out of every four Americans cast a mail ballot. It is legal and safe. In five states – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington – mail-balloting has been the primary method of voting. Thirty-one more offer no-excuse absentee voting. 

Mail ballots have not encouraged significant fraud. Oregon has sent out 100 million ballots since 2000, with just a dozen cases of proven fraud. Washington and Colorado have done even better. 

Ballot fraud on a scale that would sway an election is detected by automated validation systems. This happened in North Carolina, where a political operative was arrested for harvesting mail ballots.

Voting by mail is politically neutral. Nationwide, about the same share of Republicans and Democrats voted by mail in 2016. In the 2018 election, vote-by-mail increased voter turnout in Colorado by 8 percentage points for each political party. Perhaps opponents of mail ballots are more afraid that expanded voter participation will make it harder on candidates with narrow appeal.

Between low voter turnout and an electoral college that skews the popular vote, a small fraction of the population can dictate the direction of the entire country. In 2016 slightly over a quarter of the eligible voters cast their ballot for the current administration. 

In the end, no democracy can survive minority rule.

(s) RoNN Smith

Wyoming Rising

Powell

(8) comments

Booneyrat

I agree about mail in ballots...they can't be hacked and rigged to throw elections in a party's favor.

Trex

Yes Booney they just get lost in trunks , trash or the post office, info for certain types. This will end our freedom and understand vote by mail and absentee voting are not the same thing, ignorance is bliss and we love that. RoNN you solve low voting through education, or lose your right if you fail to vote???

Jim Jones

Trex, the never answered question always seems to be: "Are liberals ignorant or intentionally putting out fake news?" I've never met Ronn. He may just be parroting the CNN/MSNBC/Democrat Party talking points or he might be play Trump style 3D chess. If I had to put money on it, I'll go with the bird.

Jim Jones

We already have mail in ballots. They're called absentee ballots and you've already received an application in the mail. If you didn't get yours, contact the Elections office. What you and Wyoming Rising want is ballots sent to everyone dead or alive on the voter roles. You can vote by mail, you just have to sign your name on the application before you put it in the self addressed envelope provided for you.

Sully53

Nice editorial. Spoken like a true liberal. It seems like you would like to abolish the "skewed electoral college". You want New York and California to determine who is president every direction? The voters in the rest of the country would have no input into who is elected.

No as far as mail in voting, how would that be safe? I would like to see voter ID required. You have to show an ID for everything else of any importance. Why shouldn't you be required to show an ID for something as important as casting a vote for the president?

Please don't think voter fraud doesn't happen. I personally know a man that voted several times for Obama in both 2008 and 2012 before he was caught and charged with a felony. I am totally against people that are in this country illegally having any rights to vote. That is what will happen with mail in votes. I believe illegals being able to mail in a vote is why the democrats as so adamant about the issue because they know that the illegals will only be voting for democrats.

Jim Jones

Sully53, Ronn intentionally conflated mail in voting with absentee ballots. His problem is an absentee ballot request requires a signature.

Jim Jones

More Altered reality from Ronn and Wyoming Rising: "In 2016 slightly over a quarter of the eligible voters cast their ballot for the current administration." Really? Are you sure? The Park County Election Office reports 15,311 votes were cast in the 2016 General Election and the number of registered voters in Park County was 14,196. That ain't a quarter, that's almost a 108% turnout. How? What? Huh? You see Ronn, liberal, forward thing and progressive Wyoming allows you to register to vote at the very last minute on Election Day! Feel free to disband Wyoming Rising because all of your voting issues have already been addressed.

Jim Jones

Ronn, we already have voting by mail both in Park County and the State of Wyoming! Your op-ed was completely unnecessary because the Secretary of State and our County Clerk are way ahead of you. In fact, if Ronn is a registered Park County voter, he has already received a letter from the County Clerk with "A Message From the Wyoming Secretary of State. Due to concerns related to COVID-19, we want to remind you that you have a choice on how you vote in the 2020 Elections. You may send in an absentee ballot request to you County Clerk by following the instructions on this mailer...."

The mailer includes a Wyoming Absentee Ballot Request Form good for both the primary an general elections and a self-addressed envelope. Every registered voter has been mailed a Wyoming Absentee Ballot Request Form. Ronn doesn't like the signature line on the form that says, "I hereby state that I am a registered voter entitled to vote in the election(s) indicated above because he doesn't want people prosecuted for election fraud. Ronn and the the wonderful members of Rise Wyoming want mail in ballots sent to every known address and every known person, alive or dead, in Wyoming with no signature requirement. Wyoming's absentee voting system suppresses voter fraud, not voting. The members of Wyoming Rising don't support voter fraud, do they? I'm not so sure because they sure as heck assume the rest of us don't know the difference. But maybe Ronn didn't get a Wyoming Absentee Ballot Request Form. If not, contact Colleen Renner, Park County Clerk, Chief Election Official or Elections Deputy: Pat Cole. Park County Courthouse 1002 Sheridan Ave. Cody, WY 82414 Cody: (307) 527-8620, Powell: (307) 754-8620. They even have a local Powell telephone. How cool is that! Ronn may have to register to vote in order to get his.

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