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Letters to the Editor: Coronavirus isn’t the only reason for mail-in ballots. Americans want them

Vote-by-mail ballots
Vote-by-mail ballots sit in a box after being sorted at the San Francisco Department of Elections in 2008.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

To the editor: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order requiring all California counties to send vote-by-mail ballots to all eligible voters is a recognition that voting is fundamental to the rule of law, even (or especially) in times of crisis.

In a nationally representative survey released earlier this month, the American Bar Assn. found strong public support for allowing voting before Election Day. The ABA believes that all registered voters should be allowed to vote by absentee ballot, regardless of cause.

Clearly, Americans want easier access to voting in these challenging times while ensuring that the election is secure. Newsom’s order will help. All people who are eligible to vote should be able to vote, safely and securely, as long as there are procedures in place to ensure public confidence in the results.

Judy Perry Martinez, Washington

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The writer is president of the American Bar Assn.

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To the editor: Being a traditionalist, for the past 50 years, I have always voted at my local polling place. Having said that, the gravity of the current coronavirus pandemic necessitates a change to mail-in ballots for all California voters, as per Newsom’s recent order.

However, California should suspend its overly permissive ballot harvesting law, which allows anyone to collect and return a voter’s ballot.

Not only does ballot harvesting lend itself to fraud, but given that social distancing rules may still be in place in November, it is also no time to be sending strangers out to people’s homes to pick up their mail-in ballots.

Jim Redhead, San Diego


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