Mail vote necessary option
Re: “Every Texan deserves a mail-in ballot — COVID-19 has created a special circumstance for all voters,” by Joe Straus, Monday Opinion.
It was refreshing to see a leading Republican, former speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus, clearly debunking — with facts and figures — the false allegations of fraud that have been made against voting by mail. Voting by mail is safe and should not be a partisan issue. Absentee voting has been safely and securely used by both Republican and Democratic voters in Texas for years.
There are both Red states and Blue states where voting by mail has been the primary method used by voters to exercise their civic duty — with proven reliability. In the midst of a pandemic, absentee voting is an important, necessary option to protect the health of many voters.
We hope voters will listen to Straus, numerous nonpartisan groups, election administrators, experts and many others who endorse the safety and reliability of voting by mail and not to self-interested politicians who apparently believe making it harder for people to vote works to their advantage.
Dave Jones, Dallas, president, Clean Elections Texas
Thanks for publishing the facts so that anyone who supports democracy should support enlarging Texans’ access to mail-in ballots. Those who do not support mail-in ballots do not support democracy and should be repudiated by Americans.
Gene Lantz, Dallas
Texans have the right
Joe Straus is right. All Texans should be assured that they can exercise their civic duty by registering to vote, casting their ballots and having their votes counted. Voters deserve protection against anything that stands in the way of exercising this constitutional right, and that includes the threat of exposure to a life-threatening disease.
With more than 700,000 COVID-19 cases in Texas and nearly 15,000 deaths, exposure is a serious and real threat. It is very clear that voting by mail is a safe method of voting and should be available to all voters not only as a protection of our constitutional rights, but also to help us meet the double-barrel threat of the 2020 flu season.
As Straus mentioned, a Heritage Foundation study found only 36 instances of absentee ballot fraud in Texas since 2005, or only 0.0001%. For years, voting by mail was used as a proven safe method of voting across the country. Prohibiting the expansion of voting by mail or absentee voting is voter suppression, a way to keep people from voting, and can be seen as a way to cheat to win. Texas is better than that.
Dorothy Mundy, University Park
My late ballot
This morning I decided to check on the status of my mail-in ballot. While looking through the Dallas County Elections website, I fortuitously found the PDF report showing the people who had voted in the Democratic runoff. My husband was listed, I was not. Concerned, I called the elections department and was informed that my ballot had been received late, apparently after July 15, and it had not been counted. My husband’s ballot was shown to have been received on June 30. Both ballots were mailed at the same instant at the Duncanville post office.
I do not know if my ballot was delayed because of the problem with the ZIP code or what. I do know that we will be hand-delivering our mail-in ballots. I suggest others who voted by mail-in ballot check on the status of their vote at https://bit.ly/32Gm4Y2.
I wonder how many total votes were lost this way? Is there going to be an investigation? I joked that I would crawl through ground glass to vote, it isn’t such a joke any more.
Karen Beverly, Duncanville
How will I know?
Approximately two weeks ago, I mailed an envelope containing a $4,000 check from my home in Fairview to my bank in Plano. It never arrived. I know this because the check has not shown up in my account and I have received no receipt.
If I use a mail-in ballot, I would never know if my vote got there, would I?
William Haralson, Fairview
Elect people who care
My taxes pay for Postal Service, and it should not be used as a political tool to disenfranchise voters. I have been waiting for a U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail package. Tracking shows it arrived at the Coppell distribution center on Aug. 31 waiting for delivery to Richardson. It’s still sitting there on Sept. 7.
What happens when my essential medicine is delayed? My pleas to Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Rep. Van Taylor have gone unanswered. Our only recourse is to elect representatives who work in our interest.
Cindy Hollocker, Richardson
Mail is a service for citizens
Re: “Post office has lost billions,” by Burt E. Ballentine, Aug. 31 Letters.
Ballentine says that the “Postal Service business model is broken” and that Louis DeJoy is “a businessman” who is trying to apply sound practices.” Also that: “I don’t believe that anyone can make a government agency under Congress run like a business.”
He misses the entire point of the postal service. The Constitution authorizes Congress to “establish post offices and post roads.” It is called service because it is a service provided by the government for its citizens. It is paid for by those citizens with their taxes to carry their mail. The goals of a business are to serve its customers and make a profit, while the Postal Service’s only charter is to serve its customers.
The military is a service provided by the government to protect its citizens from foreign enemies. Nobody expects the military to show a profit because it is not a business. It is a service provided by the government and paid for by the taxpayers.
If you think there is no difference between the Postal Service and DeJoy’s freight delivery business, ask DeJoy’s business to deliver a first-class letter from Dallas to Alaska or Hawaii for 55 cents.
Tom Naylor, North Dallas
Postal Service can’t be business
With all the assertions some people make that the U.S. Postal Service is inefficient, loses money and should be run like a business, I have to wonder: Why is this standard never applied to other government entities? For example, do you judge the Department of Defense with a profit/loss statement? How about the State Department or the Department of Justice? Of course you don’t, because, like the USPS, they are not businesses.
Government entities have entirely different missions and priorities than for-profit businesses. For example, unlike FedEx or United Parcel Service, the Postal Service is required to serve every address in the United States. Is this efficient? Of course not.
It is a service provided to citizens by the federal government, specified in Article I of the Constitution, along with raising an army and maintaining a navy. So why do we treat the Postal Service differently? Shall we discuss the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the Pentagon? The Postal Service performs not only an important service for every U.S. citizen, but also one that is vital to businesses and to the overall economy. Don’t hold it to a different standard than other government agencies.
John March, Northwest Dallas
Reserve October for ballots
President Donald Trump is assaulting the U.S. Postal Service and is discrediting mailed ballots. You can fight back: Don’t use the post office for nonvoting purposes in October.
Send more bulk mail in September or after the election, not in October. For candidates or parties, use non-mail media in October. Prepay your bills in September, don’t make any online October purchases that are delivered by the post office, and don’t send any personal mail that month. If you are mailed a paycheck, or if you mail paychecks to others, make alternate arrangements instead of October mailing. Also, add 55 cents of postage to your mail-in ballot just to be sure it is validly posted, and also to help the post office make up for lost October revenue.
Yes, you can still vote in person this November, but make it easier for others — including the sick and vulnerable — by taking the above actions. Let’s make this October “Easy Voting by Mail Month” and, together, we can help save our democracy. And, of course, the more who read and follow this message, the more likely we are to succeed.
Bill Dingfelder, Philadelphia, Pa.
Re: “Our test of the post office delivers sad results,” by Dave Lieber, Aug. 23 Metro column.
I elected to vote by mail this year because of the pandemic and did so in the primary. Both mail-in and in-person voting are problematic.
First, in Texas, there is no mandate that masks be worn at polling places. This is scary to me since I am in a high-risk group for COVID-19 and many people refuse to wear masks, citing the president. But there are also stumbling blocks for mail-in voting. When I voted in the primary, I received a pre-paid envelope for returning my ballot. I took it in to the post office to have it postmarked, but I found out that the post office does not postmark pre-paid items. The Texas election rules state that the ballot must be received not later than one day after Election Day, so a postmark could give you only one extra day anyway. Then as we have been made aware, this administration is trying its hardest to disrupt mail service.
A recent article by Dave Lieber pointed out it now can take a week to get a letter across town. It is incredible that a scoundrel in the White House can wreak so much havoc. We all must vote early!
Donna Gregory, Dallas
Would you mail cash?
I suggest that those who think voting by mail is so safe do the following: Go to the bank and take $500 cash out of your account. Put the cash in an envelope and mail it to yourself. If you are not comfortable doing that, then why would you be comfortable mailing your vote?
Pat Christiansen, Plano
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