To the Editor:
For the first time in history, 84% of U.S. voters will be eligible to vote by mail in the Nov. 3 election. The ritual of learning who the winner is on election night will not happen this year.
States decide how they will count mail-in ballots. Some states will begin counting the ballots as soon as they are received. Other states will not start counting mail-in ballots until Nov. 3.
The signatures on each ballot must be compared to the signature on file in the election authority office (to prevent fraudulent voting). Then the election staff must verify that voter has not already cast an in-person vote (to prevent voting more than once).
Finally, the ballot is fed into a tabulator that counts the number of votes for each candidate. This process will take days, if not weeks. The fact that it will take that long means the process is working!
Do you remember the bully in grade school who said he lost the game because you cheated?Grown-up bullies will say they lost the election because it was rigged and there were fraudulent ballots. Don’t believe them!
Please understand that if any candidate (who has an opponent) declares himself/herself a winner on election night, they will be basing their declaration on incomplete vote counts. If a television or cable program projects a winner, their projection will be based on incomplete vote counts.
This will be true of municipal, state and federal elections, including the presidential election. We will need to be patient and wait for the election authorities in each state to publish the names of the winners after all the votes are counted.
If any candidate with an opponent declares victory on election night, or says there is voting fraud, ignore him/her.