The Trials and Tribulations of Voting in a Pandemic

Autumn Page, Staff Reporter

With the general election only weeks away, many states have begun counting the ballots they have received and it’s a lot. 

This election has caused a lot of problems and, President Donald J. Trump and COVID-19 are making it harder for people to send in their absentee ballots or hit the poles. 

Over 7 million ballots have been cast as of Oct. 11 in 36 states alone. In 2016, only 75,000 people voted one month early, according to USAToday. 

Usually, general elections have higher numbers compared to other elections, but this year is already setting records. 

This year alone, I have seen more advertisements to vote on social media than ever before. Users can even register to vote on platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. 

I think this could be partially why the increase of voter awareness or voter registration has skyrocketed. 

I’ve heard people breaking down the individual numbers of 7.3 million ballots and figuring out the ratio between parties, but I’m going to be honest I don’t care. 

Though, if you want to know, Democrats are leading over Republicans, according to Fox News

There are more republicans than democrats? Cool. They are voting. People are getting out and voting.

I think that’s the only thing that matters because in the past it was super hard to get people to the polls.

When I worked at a polling station in high school, the turnout was low. Given it was an off-year election, so turnout was expected to be lower, it was still surprising to see. 

Though, with everything going on, you’d think the state government would figure out a better system for early in-person voting. Instead, voters in Georgia are waiting six hours to vote.

Six hours is the low end too, 10 hours being the high end.

One Twitter user saying, “I cannot think of anything I stood in line for 10 hours to do or even buy. It is very gross that it would take 10 hours to vote. What about eating, going to the restroom, needing to use your phone, having to work, having to go get your kids, just being on your feet? It’s cruel.”  

Not every state is like this. In Texas, as of Oct. 13, lines only exceeded 40 minutes

I’m not saying there shouldn’t be any lines or wait, that’s unrealistic, but the wait time shouldn’t be several hours. 

With COVID-19 concerns, it is probably harder to have poll workers and more polling stations. But I also think that because of this there should be more polling stations open.

More polling stations equal fewer people per location, and this equals less exposure. Compared to fewer stations and greater exposure. 

I understand that there aren’t many volunteers this election season because of COVID-19. 

In Michigan, absentee ballots have already been sent out and any voting questions can be answered on the Michigan government website or Vote.org

To find a polling station near you, go to Vote.org.