First time voters at MU concerned about mail-in voting

COVID-19 has prompted many states to rely on mail-in ballots for the 2020 General Election.

Mail-in ballots will take the place of in-person polling for people in many states this year. At MU, first time voters will experience an unprecedented voting atmosphere.

Freshman and first-time voter Lauren Guest expressed a struggle in figuring out whether to vote in person or by mail. She said that she wants her voice to be heard, but she does not want to rely on mail-in voting. Guest said that she is wary of this method of voting because the news showcased ballots being thrown in the trash.

“I’m skeptical of the mail-in ballots, especially this year, and I want to do what I can to ensure that my vote is going to count,” Guest said.

According to the USPS website, “The American public can rely on the United States Postal Service to fulfill our role in the electoral process.”

However, according to an article by CBS News, in the 2016 election “more than 73,000 out of 33 million mail-in ballots arrived too late to be counted.”

Guest said that the mail-in voting method would not coincide with her motives for voting. She said she wants to know that her voice is heard, because she is excited about having a say about the candidate elected for the first time.

“Knowing my voice is being heard and accounted for will be super cool,” Guest said. “I feel very educated on my decision, so I’m excited to have a voice in the future of our country.”

Freshman and first-time voter Megan Garazin said that the unexpected circumstances of this election makes her nervous.

“I never expected to vote during a pandemic,” Garazin said.

For Garazin, MU is six hours from her hometown, and she will be using the mail-in voting method to cast her vote.

“[It’s] obviously a little harder than just walking into your polling location and voting in person,” Garazin said.

Garazin expressed concern that fewer people will end up voting, and that low turnout may change the results of the election.

“Young people are notorious for not exercising their right to vote, but I’m hoping this year is different so the results are more accurately depicted who is favored by the public,” Garazin said.

Freshman and first-time voter Serenity Mallon expressed her eagerness to vote in order to support her rights and to ensure her rights stay intact. She said she registered to vote as soon as she turned 18.

“I’m motivated to vote to protect my rights as a woman. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I want to make sure I can still marry who I want and I want to vote to make a change,” Mallon said.

Garazin explained her reason for voting is to help those who do not have a voice.

“I am motivated to vote because I realize that my vote not only directly impacts my [life], but the lives of everyone around me, including those who are in different positions than myself,” Garazin said. “As someone with privilege, I vote so that those who don’t have as much privilege as I do are able to have the same experiences as myself.”

Edited by Joy Mazur | jmazur@themaneater.com

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