The writer of a recent letter about voting by mail (“‘Vote by mail’ opens way to fraud,” July 8) argued that “it doesn’t take rocket science” to conclude that voting by mail might precipitate fraud. Moreover, the writer suggested that Democrats advocating for mail-in voting during the pandemic may set the country on a novel and potentially disastrous course.

What this writer failed to recognize is that what we would otherwise call absentee voting has been with us since the Civil War, that 46 states already provide mail-in voting options, and that there has never been any data to support the notion that the opportunity to vote by mail leads to pervasive fraud. It apparently also escaped the writer that the denial of voting options can suppress the popular vote rather than guarantee its security, and that the current president, who is arguably most responsible for advancing conspiracy theories about mail-in voter fraud, often votes by mail himself.

Perhaps the only thing the author of the letter got right was that the question of voter fraud is worthy of discussion. However, that discussion — and indeed all public debate — should be based in fact and reason rather than wildly uninformed partisan fear-mongering. That isn’t rocket science either.


Kevin A. O’Brien


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