Record breaking mail-in votes


Photo provided by: AFP via Getty Images

The number of mail-in ballots returned in 2016 was 33 million with the total count being doubled in 2020 equaling roughly 65,487,735.

Brooke Holland, Features Editor

Marking another noteworthy event in 2020 was the presidential election. With many tensions between candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump and their corresponding political parties, voters have had to weed out both applicants’ possible intentions for the country. Along with choosing whom to cast a ballot for in regards to the presidential and vice presidential positions, voters also had to consider the  way they wanted to vote: in person at the polls or through mail-in ballots.

In response to COVID-19, it was largely pushed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) that people take necessary precautions to limit exposure to the virus, especially on Election Day. While the polls were still open for those comfortable with voting in person, absentee voting was promoted further than it has ever been in the past. This led to record breaking mail-in votes. The number of mail-in ballots returned in 2016 was 33 million with the total count being doubled in 2020 equaling roughly 65,487,735.

“Mail-in ballots are a great way for people who are stuck at home to vote,” senior Sean Perry said. “It allows them to still exercise their right to vote even when they are quarantined. Whether it’s because of COVID-19 or because they don’t feel safe going out and voting in the booths.”

The process of sending in absentee ballots to reduce potential risk of contracting germs seems without error. However, the legality of it has been questioned and allegations of voter fraud has been in the spotlight for the past three elections. 

“I think mail-in ballots are a good alternative, but with some limitations,” junior Laura Howell said. “They did offer a good resource for some people who couldn’t go in person but there’s also a lot of forgery that could be involved, such as USPS losing the ballots and people forcing other people to vote for candidates in the same house. The mail in ballots did prolong the election results which was very nerve-racking to all of America so overall I do think it was a good option but I wouldn’t like to keep this in effect for years coming.” 

This year has heightened the rumor of potential voter fraud within mail-in voting and has generated many conflicts within the 2020 election season. While the election results have been queried and lawsuits have been filed, the limited evidence tugs at the question of what is real and what is exaggerated.

“I think that mail in ballots can be useful for people who may be unable to go into voting booths due to being in the military, health reasons or other difficulties getting to a polling location,” junior Jennifer Mason said. “Voter fraud can happen and it is not right, but I don’t think that it’s on a big enough scale to affect an entire state.”