Who knew the postal service and mail ballots would be politicized?
Who knew we would distrust mail service to deliver our ballot, yet trust it to deliver our tax refunds? Who knew that same mail ballot voting that military members have used for decades would be discouraged for average citizens seeking safety from pandemic exposure at the polling station?
Who knew? These are the times we live in and the information distortion that surrounds us.
Meanwhile, we as Americans, Minnesotans, Rock Countians and citizens of our respective cities and townships will participate in this election season, exercising that critical right we as a free nation enjoy to vote in a fair and open election.
Is our election system safe? Can we trust mail ballots? We hope so; a large percentage of our precincts vote by mail only because they have no polling places. (See the front page story about early voting starting Sept. 18.)
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon had no problem answering a recent question about the likelihood or frequency of voting fraud.
"Knowingly or intentionally voting twice in an election is a felony," he said. "Those who do so will be discovered, prosecuted and convicted."
Our own Auditor Treasurer Ashley Kurtz further explained the process:
“When a voter registers to vote, the information from the voter registration is verified against different databases. We can't mail a ballot to a voter until those verifications are met, therefore ballots can only be mailed to qualified voters,” she said.
“And by signing the envelope, the voter is accepting the oath in the same way they would by signing a roster at the polling place. Ballots are also sent by non-forwardable mail, so a person can't have a registered voter address somewhere different from where they are living.”
As a recent Star Tribune editorial pointed out, “Much in a democracy relies on the good faith of those involved. The peaceful transfer of power that has marked this nation since its inception rests primarily on the principle that candidates will accept and voluntarily abide by election results.”
Go therefore in good faith and peace, Rock County voters, and rest assured your ballot will be counted this fall.
The 2020 general election promises to bring a record turnout of voters — both in person and by mail. So, it may take awhile for results to be tallied. It just means our election officials are being thorough. And your vote is being counted.