Mail-in voting raises concern

With the 2020 election, Californians will receive a mail-in ballot to cast their votes


Alexandra Felt

Some students and faculty will vote via a mail-in ballot for the election on November 3rd.

With the election approaching in November, many are worried that postal backlog might lead to disenfranchisement in some cases as all states will see an increase in mail-in voting due to COVID-19.

Louis DeJoy was instated as Postmaster General in June 2020, and since then, states across the US have experienced postal delays due to plans to eradicate overtime, terminate employees, and other things in efforts to cut costs.

His plan was to start pulling the United States Postal Service out of debt. Over the past 11 years, USPS has lost around $69 billion, and is currently in $160.9 billion of debt. This is mostly due to pre-paid retiree and health benefits, which counted for $119.3 billion of this debt.

Further changes were halted until the conclusion of the election.

In short, the postal service is in a squeeze. It is struggling financially, and some changes have taken place that have caused postal backlogs – this includes cutting overtime, even when there is still mail to be delivered.

California is evidently affected. Governor Newsom established in May that every registered voter in California will receive a vote-by-mail ballot.

So far, election officials in California have not seen postal delays to the extent that could actually cause voting delays. So, what do some members of Granite Bay High school believe in regards to mail voting?

GBHS AP Government teacher Jarrod Westberg believes that there could be a better approach taken than mail-voting.

I think (California) could (do) it in a much better fashion, county by county, location by location, instead of doing it just … across the board.

— Jarrod Westberg

“I think (California) could (do) it in a much better fashion, county by county, location by location, instead of doing it just … across the board,” Westberg said. “It is so unbelievably easy to vote where I live. I just look at it as was (mail voting) really necessary for the whole state universally versus the more densely populated areas.”

Similarly, GBHS junior and president of the High School Democrats of America club, Olivia Matthews, believes that all-mail voting was not the best way to go.

“While I would ordinarily support mail in ballots, I currently believe that anyone who can vote in person should for this election to make sure that their vote is counted,” Matthews said. “I think if the postmaster general and the current administration had not created so much confusion, mail-in voting would have solved so many problems regarding the safety of voting in person.”

Matthews spoke further on the postal administration and Postmaster General.

“I believe that Louis DeJoy has had a negative impact on the postal service as many Americans are depending on mail-in ballots to vote during this pandemic,” Matthews said. “With cutting costs and removing mail-sorting machines, he could be undermining the validity of the upcoming election, disproportionately affecting those who are elderly, disabled, and unable to vote in person. Having donated thousands to Trump’s campaign, he clearly has a political affiliation and could possibly be suppressing votes of many Americans … I personally don’t think mail-in ballots will work as they should but only at the fault of the administration.”

GBHS junior Isabelle Siebum gave a somewhat contrary opinion on mail-in ballots.

“I think mail-in ballots should be sent to everyone … for convenience during the pandemic, not everyone is able to go out and vote,” Siebum said.

Westberg finished on a final plea to voters in the upcoming election.

“I teach seniors, so some of my seniors are going to be able to vote … but any adult, just get your vote in,” Westberg said. “No matter who you’re voting for, what your voting for, just vote.”