To the Editor: Absentee Voting

The coronavirus pandemic leaves Crozet Avenue unusually quiet. Photo: Malcolm Andrews.

Several years ago when my parents were in a nursing home and I drove for hours every week to visit them, I decided to apply for an absentee ballot. That way nothing would interfere with my voting in the election if they needed my help. I remember having to get someone to witness my vote. No problem. It was probably one of my neighbors. Even then, however, I questioned the efficacy of this requirement. What was the point? If someone wanted to falsify a vote, he or she could find a friend to help.

Now with the pandemic, none of my neighbors come inside my house, nor do I visit them. We communicate through notes in each other’s mailboxes or shouting to each other from our respective yards. We’re serious about being physically distant.

I support Gov. Northam’s insistence on following strict guidelines in light of the pandemic that has destroyed huge numbers of lives in our state and country. I agree with Dr. Fauci. It’s better to take more precautions than necessary than not to take enough. This virus doesn’t play fair. If we lift restrictions too soon, we could have an even greater resurgence. And think how much a resurgence would hurt our economy as well as our morale.

The present Virginia requirement that an absentee ballot must be signed by a witness is irresponsible in light the present situation. It’s no longer as simple as having a neighbor come over and sign. It’s a health risk for those who live alone and especially those with medical issues. Under the present circumstances, absentee voting is the logical solution for voting in the upcoming elections. It should be safe for all Americans, regardless of race, religion, advanced age, or medical condition.

Gerry Kruger


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