LETTER: A letterbox with the inscription Letter to the editor

I appreciated last week’s letter by Max Hall, highlighting the achievements of the Virginia legislature and Gov. [Ralph] Northam, improving the absentee voting process by allowing “no excuse” voting, starting with the November elections.  Other new laws broaden the timeframe for ballots to be completed, allow other forms of ID besides a valid driver’s license, and make voting day a state holiday.  

While this is all good, it isn’t enough.  The requirement for a witness to authorize your signed ballot when submitting an absentee ballot by mail, was not changed. This requirement should be eliminated. According to FVAP.gov (Federal Voting Assistance Program) only four states require witnesses or a notary for absentee ballot submission: Virginia, Alabama, Alaska and Wisconsin.  

You might think, what’s the big deal? You can get a family member or neighbor or friend or your mailman to witness your ballot. I would remind all that we are being asked to continue social distancing during this pandemic and many of us live alone. Should we be forced to interact in close proximity to others, in order to exercise our constitutional right to vote? 

What about voter fraud? I think the fact that 46 states in the U.S. don’t require witnesses is an indication that it is not a significant concern. In fact, voter fraud in general is highly unusual. As Tammy Patrick, a former election official in Arizona recently stated, “government officials should resist the urge to write off a voting method [mail in ballots] that can make voting more accessible (and in the current case, safer) for thousands of people because of a few isolated incidents … If and when a bank gets robbed or a car gets stolen, we don't stop using banks or cars. We enforce the laws we have in place." 

In addition, Virginia should adopt practices now being embraced in other states, such as: prepaid postage on mail ballots; providing an ample number of drop boxes for voters to return ballots in person; and counting ballots as long as they're postmarked by Election Day. All or a combination of these measures would help make it even easier for Virginians to vote and ensure that all votes count. 

While simplifying absentee voting is of vital concern, we should find ways to ensure all residents are properly registered to vote and, for those who prefer in-person voting, that they can do so safely. We must prepare now for safe polling places and protecting our poll workers with protective gear (masks, gloves, smocks).  

Broad and safe access to voting is not a partisan issue and should not be turned into one. Whether you are an Independent, Democrat or Republican, you should have the right to vote without fear for your health and well being. I hope our elected and civic leaders will take the necessary steps now to ensure that we can. 

Ann Caddell Nelson 

Marshall

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(5) comments

Deplorable

A trap is being set. The trap is " the safety of the public " who knows what things will be like in November? The excuse to throw out the Constitution and suspend the Bill of Rights is supposedly due to public safety. The integrity of voting is beside the point at this time. The bigger picture is the idea that life has now forever changed and we must give up our rights for the greater good. The HIPOCARCY is astounding. The people advocating for reform of voter requirements due to safety is nothing more than an excuse for failing your responsibility as a citizen. The same people that push for mail in voting for "safty" reasons are the very same people I see in grocery stores, convenience stores, big box stores, garden centers and so forth. How long can people hide? How long do you expect people not to go to work? Are we going to STOP having sporting events, concerts, movies, church. Are we going to make restaurants limit customers to only 10 people? How far are you willing to go to surrender your rights? It's easy to sit back and tell others what to do as long as it doesn't affect you. How long are you going to let fear run your life? We are no longer the America of the 1800's or the turn of the century. We are now interconnected with each other in a very complex society. What happens in a meat packing plant in Nebraska now affects us in Virginia. You want Amazon to continue delivering packages, milk on the shelves, bread on your table, a steak on your plate and TOILET PAPER in your bathroom. You expect all these things to happen that require people to " do their jobs" but VOTING is a whole different thing. You give up little to exercise your duty of voting while millions gave up their LIVES so you can do so. No one is asking you to run the gauntlet. When power, control and money are concerned evil lurks. Freud does infact exist in spite of what a corrupt and biased media tells you. If your so concerned about your health then you must be concerned about the health of OUR government. The responsibility of what course we go on RESTS on YOU. are you willing to let that go to chance? Are you so naive as to think others will not take advantage of this glaring gap in security? There are special circumstances that warrant voting by mail but they MUST be limited. Ask your self, why is Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats pushing so hard for this? A party he** bent on removing this president and has done NOTHIN to help AMERICANS and continues to push for illegals to vote. You know the answer! The bottom line is, using safety as an excuse to allow for manipulation is wrong. Like the idea that to protect you from crime we must first make you vulnerable. The only real benefit of being a CITZEN is the ability to VOTE. We the people have the responsibility to RUN the government. But as you can see today the tables have turned. You have allowed the government the ability to RUN YOU. What's the next stop in the pursuit of safety? Retraining camps? Special compounds for people that refuse to give up their rights? Are you willing to be micro chipped or have to carry papers to document you health status in the name of security. If you dont think that's being proposed then your head is in the sand. It is our RESPONSIBILITY to ensure the integrity of our votes. You have the future riding on it.

JBH

Re-read the letter. Your president has voted by mail, so he must not have a problem with it. As I have informed you before, and cited many sources, there is no problem with voter fraud in this country. Even the voter fraud task force tRump created and appointed Kris Kobach to lead, was dissolved due to lack of evidence.

No one needs more conspiracy theories now, or ever. What we do need is to dampen the spread of the virus until a vaccine is discovered. Are you even aware of the spike in Covid-19 cases caused by the GOP dominated Supreme Court denying Wisconsin citizens the ability to vote by mail?

Voting by mail is a very reasonable and legal way to keep Americans safely represented. It is by no means an abdication of our duty as citizens to vote, to suggest as much is disingenuous and speaks to a broader agenda.

BTW, I strongly recommend spellcheck.

Deplorable

If you can go to the grocery store, gas station, Walmart or any big box retailer YOU CAN VOTE IN PERSON. As to your assertion that voter fraud did not happen . Over 800,000 votes were cast illegally an independent investigation found. As far as the commission started by Trump to investigate voter fraud is concerned, you were right, it was disbanded, not because there was no fraudulent ballots but because of Democratic governors refusing to cooperate. It stands to reason that if Democrats believe illegal immigrants have the same rights as citizens, and continue to provide cover for them , granting them driver's license and allowing them to vote in local elections, it then becomes reasonable to believe the relaxation of ID requirements is intended to facilitate manipulation. Funny how ballots suddenly appear in close races where Republicans have a small lead. Democrats have a history of double standards. They break the laws and then blame others of doing what they have done. In several places there were more ballots than citizens. How many times have you had to prove who you are in order to get a loan, purchase a car, rent a house or even get a drink. Democrats have for 3+ years complained about Russian involvement in the election but refuse to take measures to ensure it's integrity. Mail in ballots are about as insecure as you can get. NO CHAIN OF COMMAND.

As far as my spelling is concerned, I apologize. Things get past me. I don't spell very well, I have been more intrested in earning a living. I can build a house can you? Apparently you had little problem reading what I wrote. A condescending attitude is the hallmark of a Democrat. Nancy Pelosi , Chuck Schumer , Nadler, Maxine Waters, AOC and Adam Schiff are all prime examples of indifference towards Conservatives and Republicans. BTW, my grandfather, my father and I all served this country to protect your ability to VOTE. You can at least show up and do your part, unless certain circumstances preclude your ability.

JBH

Oh deplorable,

https://apnews.com/f5f6a73b2af546ee97816bb35e82c18d/Report:-Trump-commission-did-not-find-widespread-voter-fraud

“Over 800,000 votes were cast illegally an independent investigation found.” Cite your source.

No one has ever said illegal immigrants have the same rights as citizens, stop listening to insane Alex (Jones) and crazy Rush. I’ve never been able to vote without showing my drivers’ license and confirming my address and I’ve voted in GA, CA, NY and VA over the years.

As far as the rest of your rant, which is untrue and full of projection, I will not dignify it with a response.

For your information, in the last 6 weeks I’ve left my home to go to the grocery store only twice, while wearing a mask. I do not shop at Walmart and rely on Amazon for anything else I need.

I WILL be voting by mail.

Finally, learning to spell is not incompatible with building a house. I served as the GC for the last three I’ve built. Regarding your service, thank you. I did not serve because women were discouraged from entering the military when I was younger. Fortunately, for some of us, times have changed and my daughter is currently proudly serving in the US Army and protecting your ability to vote, in person or by mail.

Deplorable

Did you get the check for $1,000 000 I sent you? If not I guess it got lost in the mail.

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