Cannot afford a stamp? Non-issue needs to end
This fall, many voters will be leery of casting ballots at polling places. That has renewed the debate over absentee ballots cast by mail.
There is genuine reason to have concerns about mail-in ballots. Will everyone desiring to vote that way have access to the process? Will the unscrupulous attempt to use fraudulent ballots?
But the answer to one question some are asking is obvious. The issue is whether low-income voters can afford the postage needed to return mail-in ballots.
“As more states embrace mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, the often overlooked detail of postage has emerged as a partisan dividing line,” The Associated Press reports.
Some critics argue the cost of a postage stamp to return a mail-in ballot amounts to an illegal poll tax. Others worry that some voters, their finances already strained by the epidemic, may decide they cannot afford to buy a stamp.
How much gasoline is burned up driving to the polling place? Is that a poll tax?
How much time is spent walking to the polling place? Time is money, right? Is that a poll tax?
The simple answer to critics is this: Give us a break. If anyone wants the convenience of voting by mail, they can buy a stamp. They cost 55 cents. Those obsessed with this non-issue can donate money to the cause to help those “unable to afford” such expensive items.