Many states are still spiking with COVID-19 cases. That news has me thinking about the upcoming elections, both the primary election in July and, especially, the general election in November.

Any plan of holding in-person elections raises the prospect of more exposure for the poll workers, wardens, town clerks and every citizen who walks in the door to cast a ballot. It is time to plan ahead so that there are no new spikes in cases as people exercise their right to vote.

Iowa held a primary vote very recently that shows a better way.

First, request forms for “vote-at-home” mail-in ballots were sent to all registered voters. Second, those who wished to vote returned the pre-stamped request form and received a ballot in the mail. Finally, they voted from home in the primary election with no required reason for needing to cast what we know as an absentee ballot. In these times, we should all be “absentee” voters, as that is currently the safest way to be active citizens in this democracy.

The best way forward would be for the state of Maine to offer ballots to be sent to all voters, including students who are registered to vote in the town of their school — which may or may not be holding face-to-face classes by November.

Anyone in opposition to widespread active participation in elections is, in effect, standing against democracy.

Eileen Kreutz, Industry

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