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Opinion: Mail-in ballots are not secure
AbsenteeBallot

The current controversy over the issue of mail-in voting seems to be universally missing the most important aspect of the question.  A mail-in ballot is the equivalent of an open ballot when viewed appropriately. 

Picture the following situations: 

1.      A dominant spouse standing over a partner, and via mental or physical abuse, coercing that partner into voting to his or her demands. 

2.      An unethical voter offering to sell his vote to a candidate and filling out the ballot while the candidate watches, then handing it over to be mailed in. 

3.      Picture a group of volunteers, canvassing neighborhoods to assist senior citizens in filling out their ballot and encouraging them to vote a certain way. (Substitute thugs for volunteers and forcing for encouraging) 

4.      Picture an employer with significant political concerns asking his employees to come to his office so he can assist them in filling out their ballot. 

5.      Consider a major media agency calculating the success of a $50 million media program versus a simpler direct payment of $50 to interested voters. In a mail-in voting situation, they can be certain they get the results they are seeking. 

All of these situations, and many more, have been commonplace historically wherever voting is carried out by open ballot. 

Laws were changed many times to assure secret balloting when violent coercion was commonplace. When the United Nations monitors countries to assure a free vote, confirmation of secret balloting is the primary criteria. A mailed-in ballot would never be approved by this international organization. 

Buying votes is a certainty in any open balloting situation. The Congressional Research Institute’s website demonstrates the corruptive practices that developed in the Congress of the United States once open voting was adopted in 1970. The Association to Improve Government also focuses on the dangers of open balloting in government. 

There are situations where mail-in balloting is the only solution, but these are very few and far between. 

The danger of increased corruption in open balloting is not a possibility, it is an absolute certainty. This has been historically demonstrated on so many occasions that it is hard to believe anyone would not realize this as the most significant danger in this proposal. 

Larry Fast 

Gainesville

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