In-Person Voting vs. Absentee Ballots

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world and our country as we know it; schools were locked down, businesses were closed, and 22 million jobs have been lost. But one thing that is not being shut down—the 2020 presidential election.

Because of the pandemic and social distancing guidelines, mail-in voting has become a favorable option, and while many registered voters have already decided whether they want to vote in person or by mail, some are still undecided. There are pros and cons to both.

Let’s look at in-person voting, the traditional choice that the majority of people have decided on until now. It presents many benefits, such as being more secure and the presidential candidate being  announced quicker if the majority of people vote in person. However, many people are inconvenienced by the voting times and the long lines, and many are concerned about the risks of COVID-19, which could cause a low voter turnout.

Mail-in voting, otherwise known as casting an absentee ballot, is a choice that has always existed, but anyone who wanted to use this method was required to provide a specific reason why. Due to the pandemic, however, this rule was removed, and it caused the option of mail-in voting to become more popular. Mail-in voting is also people will be able to cast their ballots on their own time before Election Day, which would then lead to a higher voter turnout. This discourages the long, closely packed lines of people, which would lessen the spread of the virus. However, there are two major flaws with mail in-person voting: people close to a voter can have an easier time secretly coercing them into picking a certain candidate, and it would negatively impact those in more rural states, because mail delivery does not work the same way nationwide.

Both methods of voting have their positives and their negatives, and it’s up to an individual to decide how they would like to vote by weighing each option and making their own decision. The most important thing is that everyone votes this year, despite the pandemic.