Letter: Mail-in voting isn’t practical

Your Aug. 7 editorial [Make mail-in voting available to all Hoosier voters this fall] makes me think that not a single person at your paper has ever worked on an election board. I have worked on election boards for the past 35 years and understand the complexity of counting votes and maintaining the security of an election.

It would be virtually impossible to validate, verify and count mail-in votes for every vote in Indiana, especially since we are only a couple months away from the election. An entirely new system would need to be developed and implemented to insure that people have the opportunity to vote, and the person is valid to vote for their local representatives on the ballot. Identification of the voter, collection of the votes, ensuring each person received the correct ballot for their address, would be a massive undertaking.

I worked the primary polls in June and sat in an overcrowded grade school gymnasium in Pike Township. Thousands of people came to vote, standing in line for hours because the Marion County Election Board consolidated all the voting locations. People were standing shoulder to shoulder for minutes at a time, and for some strange reason, there was no outbreak of COVID-19 among residents of Pike Township. People wore masks, poll workers wore masks, the machines were wiped down and disinfected and other practical steps were taken for safety precautions. In-person voting is entirely safe and possible for the fall election. If I would suggest anything—open more polling places so people have access to locations closer to their own residence and with less crowding.

You are for sure wrong on this issue, and we will have a contested election from both sides if we allow mail-in voting across the board. The result will be reduced confidence in the election process and the questioning of the legitimacy of any candidate that wins.

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Daniel P. Egenolf

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