Absentee VS All-Mail Ballots - What is the difference?
With just 8 days until the Wyoming Primary Election and less than 90 days of the General Election the conversation related to the best way for voters to cast their ballot is heating up. It has become apparent that there’s some confusion regarding mail-in ballots versus absentee ballots.
Absentee ballots are given to those who request them. Each absentee ballot has a specific identification permanently attached. In Wyoming absentee ballots are available to any registered voter for any election within the calendar year in which the election is held but not on the day of the election.
Those requesting an absentee ballot must provide:
Although some absentee ballots are sent through the mail, but not all ballots sent through the mail are absentee ballots.
- Full name;
- Date of birth;
- Your current Wyoming residence address including your house number, street, city, county and zip code;
- The mailing address where your ballot should be mailed;
- The election(s) for which the absentee ballot is requested;
- If for a primary election, the political party ballot you wish to vote
- A statement that you are eligible to vote in the election(s).
Absentee ballots can be sent back to the elections office through the mail or dropped off.
As you can see, although absentee voting doesn’t take place in person, multiple check-points alleviate the opportunity for election fraud.
In states where vote by mail is their primary voting method, ballots are sent to all voters on the voter registration list. Although consideration may be given to the fact that voters move from addresses or voters pass away, little can be done to ensure those submitting the ballot are actually the individual who registered to vote. When ballots are delivered to the appropriate individual, returning the ballot becomes the challenge. In most main-in ballot states, ballots can be dropped off at a ballot collection location. These are often not monitored and wrought for corruption.
Other situations that must be addressed include voter intimidation, the cost of printing and sending ballots and the fact that mail-in elections are fraught with fraud. For example, some states allow ballot harvesting, a practice where unaccountable interest groups travel into communities and pick up ballots supposedly filled out by voters.
Simply put, if you trust the United States Postal Service, who consistently delivers 3% of mail to the wrong address, you can trust the logistics of mail-in ballots.
I’m thankful Wyoming adheres to an in-person and absentee voter method. For those concerned about catching the COVID-19 virus at the polls, I would encourage them to exercise their right to request an absentee ballot.
- Frank Eathorne, Chairman