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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: There’s no valid reason for opposing a vote-by-mail election in a pandemic

Mail ballots
A stack of Los Angeles County mail-in ballots for the November 2010 election.
( Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Thank you for your editorial encouraging Congress to enable states to conduct vote-by-mail elections in November.

I don’t see a need to compromise on this: A postage-paid return envelope for every ballot would eliminate the need for ballot harvesting, as long as we still have a functioning post office servicing every address in this country.

Continued claims about massive voter fraud may be great for stirring up crowds, but multiple studies have proved that it is virtually nonexistent. Per a Brennan Center for Justice report, most reported fraud incidents are traceable to clerical errors or bad data matching practices.

Of course, our voting system needs massive changes, but let’s concentrate first on the immediate and more critical need of ensuring that voters will not have to risk their health to vote in person. I suggest starting a letter-writing campaign targeting President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

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If voting by mail was good enough for Trump, then it’s good enough for all of us.

Jennifer Pinkerton, Glendale

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To the editor: You barely noted in passing its inherent problem: voter fraud. With universal mail-in ballots, this could become an ugly, widesread reality.

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Vote harvesting has proven to be a corrupt practice; widespread mail-in voting would be even worse. It should never be allowed.

Kemp Richardson, Santa Clarita

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To the editor: Reading about the president discouraging the use of mail-in ballots, I keep hearing the words of my grandmother who immigrated from Russia.

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She was very active in human rights causes, having served for years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Manila. She was proud to be able to cast votes in our elections, even while stationed in a foreign country.

I’ll never forget her lecturing me on the importance of voting. She would talk so often about her birth country not allowing its citizens to vote, that as a young boy I wished she would just shut up already. This is a different country, I thought -- they just don’t do things like that here.

My grandmother was thrilled when I voted for the first time. I went to the polling place at the end of my street. I felt like an adult.

I continued to vote in every election, and eventually I discovered that doing so by mail was much more convenient for me. I appreciate the simplicity and privacy, and I’ve always taken this seemingly simple process for granted.

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Not anymore. Now, I fear for our democratic process, which is threatened by ultra-conservatives who want to withhold the necessary funds for all states to hold safe, vote-by-mail elections amid a pandemic.

Mitch Kompaniez, West Hollywood


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