Voting in a Pandemic


McKenzie Horton, Editor

                    As another election approaches, people are taking steps to make sure that their vote counts. Using mail-in, absentee ballots, and early voting are three ways to make voting more accessible in these trying times. People have been showing up two hours earlier than the polling area opened, according to Another family waiting to cast their vote arrived an hour and ten minutes early and set out chairs, a tablet, cookies, and clothing to protect them from the rainy weather. According to The Times Union, it took many voters from one and a half to two hours to even cast their vote, but most were in high spirits, joking around with others in line, while maintaining the six feet distance and mask rule. One person from Albany highlights that while she was in line, a man came out saying, “I’m almost 61 years old and this is the first time I have voted!” People clapped and cheered for the man who beamed as he walked away. Someone in Guilderland mentioned that in their 26 years of living there, they have never waited more than five to ten minutes in a line to vote. The Washington Post says that there have been tens of millions of votes already cast and at least 28.9 million people have already cast their votes in major battleground states like Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and many more. With data from October 20, the US had 124% of 2016’s early voting numbers. Traditionally, absentee ballots are used for people who cannot make it to polling places due to an illness or disability. This year, New York along with other states included COVID-19 as a reason for not going to the polls, allowing people to send their vote in. With election day closing in, it is crucial for people to secure their right to vote in these unprecedented times.