Millions of people trust the Postal Service to mail their bills and cast their vote.

In our previous voting by mail blog, concerns about potential fraud were identified and whether their votes would reach their destination. Others identified the potential for the Postal Service to expand its role and expressed relief in avoiding long lines to cast their votes.
“The answer to the nation’s voting anxiety is not a national standard that imposes new rules on an outdated system of polling places. The answer is a low-tech, low-cost, reliable, and convenient system that makes it easier to vote and easier to count votes. The answer is Vote-by-Mail.”
— Bill Bradbury,
Former Secretary of State, Oregon
Various voting methods have been explored over the years to provide secure and convenient ways for citizens to cast their votes and provide municipalities with cost-cutting opportunities. One method under consideration is voting by mail. The Postal Service has repeatedly been ranked as one of the most trusted government agencies and has a significant role in today’s voting landscape. The Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act, introduced by California Representative Susan Davis, will provide all eligible voters the option to vote by absentee ballot in federal elections for any reason.

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Currently, states such as Oregon and Washington use voting by mail extensively and many cities, counties, and other states are getting on board. Oregon boasts over a decade of voting by mail resulting in increased voter turnout, cost savings, and only nine fraud cases out of 15 million mail ballots cast. For years, the military has used the mail to allow overseas personnel to cast their votes. The Postal Service claims there are advantages to voting by mail, such as:

•Increasing voter participation.
•Giving voters a longer opportunity to study the initiatives, the candidates, and the ballot.
•Providing an automatic paper trail.
•Eliminating confusion about where to vote.
•Providing privacy and security.
•Offering a variety of formats to communicate with voters.
•Giving easy and cost-effective solutions for returning ballots to help increase response.
•Providing technology to help registrars update and correct voter registration lists and
addresses before an election.
•Offering return services at no additional charge with First-Class Mail®.

Supporters of mail voting claim greater and more informed voter participation, less fraud, and lower administrative costs. Opponents say there is a risk of unauthorized voter participation, loss of the secret ballot, increased chance of fraud, inappropriate pressure from interest groups, and fewer opportunities for the community to come together.

What do you think about voting by mail? We want to hear your experiences and ideas.
What value does vote by mail add? What concerns or risks exist?

Please share your opinions.

This topic is hosted by the Human Resources & Security team.

Comments (11)

  • anon

    I am registered permanent absentee ballot because health reasons leave me bedridden. I did not receive my ballot for today's election. I asked my husband to stop by their office and pick me up a ballot. They said one was already sent. They sent a second one that was also not delivered on time. What the heck is the problem that my absentee ballot continually comes up no delivered to me? Need to find out where these ballots are going. Makes me VERY uncomfortable considering the voter fraud allegations and taking voters vote away. Glad my husband has a car and could get me to place a vote but not everyone is as lucky. Appears to be a case of fraud since recently a bunch of my mail is not being delivered including packages being ripped off.

    Nov 07, 2017
  • anon

    I do not agree with a state wide vote by mail ONLY policy. I feel every voter should feel confident that their vote is counted without any interference and there is just too large a margin for error or corruption when the only way a person can cast their vote is relying on the USPS mail system. Even though I use a central drop box and not my mail box, there are still many steps of this process my ballot must go through before my vote is or if it gets counted. Once it's out of my hands, I have know way of knowing what happens to it. Every process has its pros and cons but at least when voting at a designated polling place , as in "the old days" my vote is confirmed at that time by trained officials. We should have the option to go to the polls or vote by mail not mandatory vote by mail and no other option. I believe the citizens of my state should take a good look at the way too many mail fraud cases reported that the USPS does absolutely nothing about and then let them decide what process they want to use to cast their vote.

    Mar 14, 2016
  • anon

    Allowing citizens to vote via mail helps the citizens to fulfill their duty of voting at their convenience and helping the country to achieve the potential of reaching the maximum number of voters as well as allowing people to be involved in the Democratic process without fail.

    Mar 01, 2016
  • anon

    Casting your valuable votes via Postal Service?? I would not personally recommend it! Though others opinions may vary! :)

    Oct 21, 2011
  • anon

    I don't quite agree to the idea of Casting your Valuable votes via Postal Service! :) via -<a href="" rel="nofollow">telephone keypad</a>

    Sep 04, 2011
  • anon

    For which purpose does the USPS have any relevance to the FEC? Except, "delivering" voter information, and absentee ballots administered by each of the local jurisdictions, via it's mail service. And, of course the campaign "clutter" which is simply flooding the mail systems at election time. Rather, the FEC (Federal Election Commission)should consider technology to achieve the necessary initiatives to satisfy it's mission objective's. Then, it should present this proposal to each local respective election jurisdiction for consideration. And, I don't mean touch screen ballot machines! Hopefully, some of the less draconian jurisdictions will have the spine to integrate telephone voting technologies* to achieve this. We bank electronically, file unemployment by electronically, and of course twitter electronically.... This way the USPS can focus on reducing their $3.5 billion quarterly deficits, which appears to becoming the norm. And then, simply continue to process election mail as necessary. However, based on the electorate participation levels in my jurisdiction, where I've been active for thirty years; I get the feeling the the party committee's, at least those in power, "ahem", like things just the way they are.... *i.e. Triple DES, fastap keypad's, etc...

    Aug 10, 2010
  • anon

    Historically corruption of votes has occurred at the polls, however no system of voting guarentees integrety UNLESS the public continues to be vigulent. If voting by mail is totally accountable, and all signatures are confirmed against the voter registration record then the process is more secure than voting at the polls. If you don't believe this then talk to any county administrator in the states of Washington and Oregon.

    Jul 30, 2010
  • anon

    Everything those who are entrusted with enforcing the laws of the United States Constitution continues to be Fraudulent (Collusion) creating the American Holocaust. No vote needs to be casted for YHVH's solution the Peoples Righteous Kill Defense.

    Jul 28, 2010
  • anon

    It seems there's always the possibility of fraud no matter how we do it. Mailing in votes might get more people to vote. I think it's a good idea, as long as it's closely monitored.

    Jul 27, 2010
  • anon

    i think it will be lots of fraud if they do it this way

    Jul 27, 2010
  • anon

    While I’m glad for the additional postal revenue of voting by mail, I hope that my state never adopts it. I am too paranoid. I can too easily imagine the election fraud potentials of voting by mail. The only way to prevent widespread counterfeiting of ballots is to give each ballot a unique identifier—which suddenly allows the government to know how I voted. And even if there is a unique identifier on each ballot, how would anyone know that I didn’t fill out every ballot in my household, or that I didn’t steal my neighbors’ ballots for that matter? Can I receive a replacement ballot by claiming that the original must have been lost in the mail, and then return both? The concept is good postal business, but it’s poor democracy.

    Jul 26, 2010

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