Many Americans are taking time off from work to vote, only to experience absurd lines, understaffed polling stations, and hassles with voter ID requirements. Mail-in ballots and early voting not only help the working-class American, but also those who are unable to make it to a polling station, including but not limited to the ill, physically disabled, or those working poll stations.
Two-thirds of states now offer some form of early voting, giving Americans the ability to cast their ballots at less crowded polling stations and with reduced wait times. This provides significant relief to poll workers and increases voter turnout, especially of underrepresented populations.
Thirty states have enacted no-excuse absentee voting, which allows citizens to submit their votes by mail at designated polling locations. This allows states to save millions of dollars because they don’t need to establish polling places or pay polling staff, and it increases voter turnout of younger, older, poorer, and minority voters.
Unfortunately, onerous matching requirements of names or signatures have led to the rejection of thousands of legitimate votes. Legal, financial, and societal barriers do not always make legal name changes easy. These requirements create barriers to people with disabilities, women who have married or divorced, and transgender people. In Florida, over 5,000 vote by mail ballots were rejected for signature requirements. In Georgia’s gubernatorial race, hundreds of absentee ballots were rejected without first giving voters a chance to fix the problem because of suspected signature mismatches. Young voters are also more likely to have their mail-in ballots rejected because they did not use their handwriting enough to develop a steady signature.
Early voting and mail-in ballots contribute to the convenience and participation of citizens in the democratic process. We need to extend these opportunities to all Americans and do away with restrictions, like name and signature matching requirements, that work against it.
Problems to be Solved
- checkWorking Americans are forced to take time off to vote.
- checkPolling stations are often crowded and have long lines.
- checkThousands of valid votes are thrown out due to onerous signature matching requirements.
- It is the government’s job to do everything in its power to expand the electorate and foster participation in the democratic process.
- checkGive every voter the option to vote by mail
- checkReduce crowding at polling stations
- checkEnsure all valid votes are counted
As President I will...
- Implement a federal law that requires all states to integrate voting by early voting and mail-in ballots to their voting process.
- Require states to eliminate onerous name and signature matching requirements that lead to the rejection of legitimate votes without giving voters the opportunity to fix these issues.