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Mail-in Ballot Paradox

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Message Harold Novikoff
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Oregon ballot return box.
Oregon ballot return box.
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org), Author: Chris Phan (Clipdude))
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Let's try to make sense out of all the ruckus about voting by mail. To summarize: Trump is now trumpeting about the inadequacy of the postal service to handle the volume of ballots as the main reason for inhibiting voting by mail, whereas before he discredited it because of the probability of fraud. Many reports contradicted the validity of significant fraud or error in previous experiences of mail-in voting.

Trump himself and his lackeys are doing everything they can think of to handicap the postal service. Trump opposes any supplemental financing to carry the extra burden of mail-in ballots, the new postmaster general of Trump's choice has scrambled up the postal-service management, slowing down its service, and has cancelled overtime that would be needed to handle the extra load. At the same time, the postal service is operating under the financial liability of securing its pension obligations seventy-five years into the future - something no other government agency is required to do.

The obstacle of capacity to handle the extra mail load assumes that all the ballots will be delivered at once. Actually, according to my experience in California, the ballots are mailed out weeks before the election, so there is plenty of time to mail in ballots well before the election deadline if the voters can be induced to return them promptly. Thus the extra load of mail would be spread out over a long period of time, well within the postal services' capability to handle, especially if priority is given to ballot mail.

This reckoning is based upon the assumption that the individual states cooperate in preparing and mailing out the ballots in a timely fashion.

 

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Veteran, retired from several occupations (school teacher, technical writer, energy conservation business, etc.) long-time Sierra Club member


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