Meridian Township residents weigh mail-in voting pros, cons

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Joesph Hicks

Cornell Elementary, 4371 Cornell Rd, Okemos, MI 48864

Joesph Hicks

4371 Cornell Rd, Okemos, MI 48864 Precinct 8 at Cornell Elementary is one of many places in Meridian Township where residents can vote in-person to assure their vote is counted.
Photo by Joe Hicks

With more people than ever voting by mail in the 2020 presidential election, Meridian Township residents voice doubts about possible solutions to alleviate panic. 

According to the November 2020 unofficial election results for Ingham County, 25,811 voters, which is 76% of registered voters voted in Meridian Township.

Meridian residents

JoLynne Warren, an Okemos resident, said that before this election she didn’t have doubts about the mailing systems and its ability to deliver its mail on time. 

“I went to mail my ballot and then hesitated because people have been talking about a mail delivery backlog, so I thought the dropbox was a good option because it’s right in front of the building where they’re counting the votes,” Warren said.

Despite Warren’s hesitance and skepticism to vote by mail, Warren said, she heard that on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s website it talks about the process of how the votes will be counted on Election Day.

“I looked into the voting process a little, and I liked what I saw when I looked at the Bipartisan Policy Centers website, and I think I might even vote by mail in the next presidential election, but I’d rather be sure this time,” said Warren.

Unlike Warren, Andrea Kirby, another Okemos resident, said she chose to vote by mail even after also hearing the possibility that there could be mail delivery backlogs.

Kirby said, “I’ve heard that there could be delays on my vote getting to where it needs to on time, but I have voted by mail in the past, and I didn’t have any issues but with everything going on I was still a little concerned so I mailed mine well in advance.”

Kirby said, the whole voting system might be changed or at the very least improved, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Dennis Liu, another Okemos resident, said he voted by mail for all 2020 elections because of COVID-19, and the long lines he couldn’t risk his family’s safety just to vote in person. Voting by mail made sense this time, said Liu.

“I voted by mail for the 2020 election this year because I knew the lines would be long at the voting places, which they were, and that there would not be a lot of social distancing, so voting in person didn’t really make sense to me or my family but I wasn’t really happy voting by mail either,” said Liu.