Lingering concerns as state pushes forward with mail-in voting

Local News

Next year’s election will be the first time a statewide election will be done by mail.

Lawmakers met with elections officials Wednesday to see how the process is going.

Officials say it will save taxpayers money. But there are still concerns about fraud and whether the state can pull this off without a glitch.

Lawmakers and elections officials say mail in voting is easier and are hoping it will increase voter turnout. They say it should also save the state $750,000.

There will only be eight polling precincts open statewide, so people can still vote in person or drop off their ballots at one of the eight sites.

Every registered voter will receive a ballot 18 days before election day. So it’s important for voters to update their mailing address with the Office of Elections.

“What we are asking voters to do now is if you move, something changes with your registration status, please update your registration because ballots are not forwardable. If you moved and you put in a change of address form, that ballot will come back to us and we’ll start the federal process to flag your address,” said Chief Election Officer Scott Nago.

He says there are security measures in place to verify signatures in case someone tries to fill out someone else’s ballot. Security is a concern for many others. Officials gave assurances that they will be addressed.

Voter service centers will be set up 10 business days before election day which will offer same day registration and other voting services. State lawmakers point out that next year’s election may be different from years past, but it should actually be easier not just for voters but also for the Office of Elections.

“Logistically it should actually be easier cause the vast majority of voters already by mail absentee today. So it’s really just expanding that. I think what’s important is that people are aware and educated about changes to come,” Rep. Chris Lee, House Judiciary Committee chairman.

One other change, polling precincts will remain open one hour later, until seven o’clock. The Office of Elections will start a media campaign in April to make sure everyone knows what they need to know.

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