Mail-in elections compromise security and privacy

We have no way of knowing if every ballot reaches the person intended or who is filling it out.

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Ballots will go to the wrong houses and to people who have moved, writes a Chicago Sun-Times reader.

Sun-Times file photo

Everybody is in a mad rush to expand mail-in voting. I wonder how many of them know what they’re doing. Mass mail-in voting breaks two of the most fundamental criteria in democratic elections.

First, we have no idea who is voting with mail-in ballots. We have no way of knowing if every ballot reached the person intended, who actually filled the ballot out, or what happened with the extra ballots.

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Extra ballots? Of course there will be extra ballots. Just like polling places have as many ballots as names on their lists. But at least at a polling place the ballots have to go into the machine during voting hours. Ballots will go to the wrong houses and to people who have moved. There will not be the matching of a ballot to the person who purportedly is registered.

Secondly, an essential part of democratic voting is the right to vote in private. That is why when we go to polling places, we don’t all fill out our ballots while seated around a large table. Heck, we don’t even allow candidates, their surrogates or even their signs to get near a polling place.

All that is lost when voting is not done at the polling place. We don’t know who’s badgering or forcing anyone to vote a certain way when they are away from the polling place.

People are complaining that people shouldn’t have to risk their health to vote. People died to protect that right to vote. A lot of people. The right and privilege to vote doesn’t come cheap.

If people have health issues, we can accommodate that. But there are all kinds of essential businesses open, because people still have to do essential business. Voting is an essential business.

Larry Craig, Wilmette

Working from home permanently?

In your editorial on Thursday about delays in the construction of the Jane Byrne Circle Interchange, you suggest that greater reliance on mass transit is part of the solution. So, too, is a switch to working from home which, for many people will become more then a temporary response to the pandemic. It may become a permanent way of life, reducing traffic congestion and improving the environment.

Graham Grady, the Loop

No criticism of Trump allowed

S.E. Cupp hit the nail on the head in her column on Thursday when she wrote that many, or even most, Donald Trump aficionados cannot stand any criticism of their leader.

When confronted with criticism of Trump’s persona or policies, the first reaction of the Trump faithful is indignation. In the substantial main, they do not respond with sober, rational discussion, preferring, much like their leader, to deny and trivialize. Then they make generally unfounded allegations and accusations, frequently punctuated with childish name-calling.

The very essence of our democratic system is to discuss and debate. The reluctance of Trumpians to do so is more than disheartening — it is dangerous.

William P. Gottschalk, Lake Forest

Those we will honor on this Memorial Day

Once again Memorial Day is at hand. By tradition, that has always meant that millions of Americans will attend parades and visit grave sites to honor the brave soldiers who died fighting foreign enemies.

This year will be different. We won’t be gather in large groups. Instead, we’ll be saying silent prayers at home for those who sacrificed so much.

It seems only appropriate this time to include all of the doctors, nurses and other frontline warriors who already have succumbed to the pandemic. I don’t think our past heroes would mind sharing the honors and it would mean a lot to families that have suffered so much these last few months.

Bob Ory, Elgin

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