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Better East Texas: Mail-in voting is needed

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 4:13 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The countdown is on to the general election and there is major focus about voter turnout and how that will impact the results. The presence of the COVID-19 pandemic adds to the challenge of the U.S. conducting an accurate and safe election.

The prospect of mail-in voting has also become a flashpoint with the president pushing back on mail-in balloting, suggesting that the process increases the chance for voter fraud. Texas has a very limited process that allows for mail-in ballots. To qualify for mail-in voting in Texas you must meet at least one of four very specific conditions – age 65 years or older or disabled are the main two.

Elected leaders in Texas have pushed back against expanding mail-in voting while other states have expanded the qualifications for mailing in your ballot. In 20-18 only about 10 percent of all votes were delivered by mailing ballots across the U.S. and even lower than that in Texas. But, welcome to 2020 and the pandemic and the heightened interest in voting.

In Texas we haven’t changed our voting process in decades, in spite of the explosion of the internet and commerce online and security in that arena. And with COVID-19, Texas will most likely reduce the number of polling locations or the number of voting booths at locations to help with social distancing. So, if you are 65 or older, consider mailing in your ballot; otherwise, practice social distancing and prevention behaviors.

And, moving forward, Texas has to expand the options on how we can vote and that will make for a Better East Texas.

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