150,000 of us voted by mail during the Civil War — let's not spread coronavirus at the ballot box - Front Page Live

150,000 of us voted by mail during the Civil War — let’s not spread coronavirus at the ballot box

150,000 of us voted by mail in the Civil War -- let's not have corona deaths at the ballot box

Unsplash / Rick Lobs

At least seven people in Wisconsin likely contracted coronavirus because of being forced to wait in lines to vote during a pandemic. Yes, government officials remain willing to let people contract a virus rather than vote by mail.

150,000 Americans voted by mail… in 1864

That’s right. 15% of the one million Union soldiers voted absentee 156 years ago. Now another Civil War is brewing. But this one isn’t any more civil.

The world at war

In World War I, the absentee voting system applied not only to soldiers but also for other Americans, such as railroad workers, who would be away from home for months or years.

By World War II, it was legal for soldiers to vote remotely in every state. 3.2 million absentee ballots were cast — about seven percent of all votes.

“It is easier to vote from overseas than in the U.S. in a lot of ways.” — Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, president of the U.S. Vote Foundation and Overseas Vote Initiative

Why not here?

Senator’s Wyden (Oregon) and Klobuchar (Minnesota) are trying to amend the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act so that people fighting against COVID-19 are treated with the same respect as people fighting overseas.

What you can do

Overseas voters can register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the same time. Just click here. There’s even an emergency backup ballot if the absentee ballot doesn’t arrive in time.

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