Dad Insists On Voting In Person
"My 90-year-old father is insisting on physically going to the polls on Election Day. He is quite concerned about fraud and wants his vote to be counted. There is so much news coverage on this issue that I’m not sure he’s wrong. I don’t feel it’s a good idea for him physically to stand in line and vote, though. I believe a mail-in ballot is just fine.
Dad lives in a large city, and with all of the concern about voter fraud and so many people infected with COVID-19, we simply do not know what to do. Keeping dad safe right now is our priority, yet voting is very important also. Please weigh in on this?"
I do agree that every citizen should vote, but you’re right that how your father chooses to cast his ballot could impact his health during this time of pandemic.
Going to the polls to vote is a lifelong habit for many, and one of those things most of us feel compelled to do. With all this talk about ballots not being delivered and postal service slowdowns, it has many Americans on edge.
While it is still early, go to the website for his city and read how they are handling voting. If you live in Wisconsin, the state has a wonderful website called My Vote Wisconsin. On this site, it’s very simple to request an absentee ballot if you are a registered voter, which I am quite certain your father is. Request one now. You can go on this site anytime to see when your ballot was sent and when your completed ballot is received.
His ballot arrives in the mail, well in advance of the election. The envelopes are very noticeable and official looking. They come with a return envelope. Simply vote the day you get it and track online to see that it was received.
You may also call the municipal clerk for information if you have any doubts about the process. Some communities will have drop off boxes to place your ballot in if you don’t want to mail it.
I personally used this process this year and found it to be simple. I will admit that it did not feel the same after a lifetime of going to the polls. In the midst of a pandemic, though, it was my safest option and I will do it again for the general election in November.
You can see here that my request was approved in March, and now I wait to receive the ballot.
Another call you could make is to your local post office to find out if they have any concerns about processing his ballot on time.
I don’t recommend that your father go to the polling place with hundreds of others when an easy solution is available. Just don’t wait until the last minute to request the ballot. You can see that I did it in March. There is still time if you go online and do it. It is very fast for a registered voter.
If your father still refuses the mail-in option, accompany him to the polls. Do observe all required social distancing, wear the most protective mask you can get, wear glasses and stay away from others. Hand sanitize before you re-enter your car. Remove the mask carefully, not touching the outside, and hand sanitize again. Carefully wash hands when you return home. Remember--this is Plan B.
You do have simple options if you plan ahead for Election Day. As a registered voter, it should be easy for your father to have his vote counted if he will consider a mail-in option.
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