I’m very concerned about current rhetoric going around (even at the highest levels of government) that is undermining the crucial trust we as citizens have in our electoral process and our democracy. This has nothing to do with the parties, or politics. Or it shouldn’t.
This is not just an issue in Washington, DC or some other country. I saw a letter to the editor in the Vail Voice after the 2018 election from someone who was very “suspicious” of Arizona and Pima County election results because they weren’t finalized on Election Day. Worse (for the suspicious writer), some candidates and issues who were winning by small margins shortly after the polls closed on Election Day ended up losing by a small margin several days after the election, when all ballots had been fully counted. County and State election officials know it’s not possible to count all mail-in ballots the night of the elections (because of the signature verification process). But the longer the results take, the more people become suspicious, especially if “their” candidate loses.
I saw the article you published on the meeting with the Post Office, reassuring us that our mailed ballots would be safe and would arrive in a timely manner. Thank you.
Could you please speak to the Secretary of State and the Pima County Recorder, and publish an article on the Election Day process, the mail-in ballot process, security procedures, etc? There’s even a great video about it at https://www.recorder.pima.gov/. And PLEASE also mention why election results sometimes take days to compute, even after polls close. And that it DOES NOT indicate fraud. We CAN, as voters, hurry the counting process up a little by returning our ballots early (either by mail or by dropping them off at an early voting drop box in our county) in plenty of time, rather than waiting for Election Day to drop off a mail-in ballot.
It is better to have accurate results in an election than immediate results. Many people don’t understand it’s a trade-off. Perhaps they don’t know that Arizona has done mail-in voting for decades with almost no voter fraud (a handful out of millions of voters, according to the Heritage Foundation, a highly conservative group who still seems to be incredibly concerned about voter fraud). Maybe voters don’t know that a voter’s signature on their ballot is their voter ID and our guarantee of a fraud-free election. Maybe they’re afraid that their ballot will be stolen if they mail it in, and they’re afraid of long lines in a time of pandemic at the ballot box and have decided not to vote. Perhaps they don’t know that they can check https://www.recorder.pima.gov/VoterStats/BallotInfo to verify the arrival of their ballot, and to make sure it got counted. Maybe they don’t know that a poll worker will call if there’s a problem with their signature and give them time to rectify the problem, if it’s a matter of a signature that changed over time or a forgotten signature. This is good, but something else that takes extra time and another good reason to vote early.
It could be that you will inspire new volunteer poll workers, which they need right now, since many previous ones are old enough to be quite worried about possible COVID-19 exposure.
Maybe some voters also have some other questions like,
- “Can I drop off my husband’s ballot along with my own? How about my neighbor’s?”
- “Can I get my ballot mailed to me if I’m temporarily living somewhere else?”
- “I want to vote in person, but not be exposed to COVID-19. Is there curb site balloting?”
- “What if I leave part of my ballot blank? Will they still count the rest of my ballot?”
I am again seeing comments on social media and in the news indicating a growing mistrust of the security of the voting process. But this time it’s worse. This time, I am seeing people beginning to claim that the “other side” will cause violence if they lose, and that “their side” will have no choice but to defend themselves.
Chances are that this will be an extremely close election with multiple legal challenges. It’s also a time of great partisan divide, which is plenty evident in our swing state of Arizona. Please help your readers maintain calm and rebuild trust in our democracy. Please help avoid any kind of civil unrest due to election concerns.