To the editor:

My daughter Kate and I voted early in 2020. While standing in line, we got into a discussion of the mail-in ballot procedure being followed in states where the boards of election were automatically mailing ballots to anyone registered to vote without any request from them for a ballot. A lady in the group who was registered to vote in Ohio mentioned that she had received a ballot from Los Angeles, California where she had once lived. California at that time had not provided for mail in-balloting and only now adopted legislation approving it immediately following the recent recall vote involving their current governor.

Senate Bill 1 — For The People Act of 2021 — which is now before the U.S. Senate would make Ohio a mail-in balloting state once a person requested an absentee ballot for a single election. Consequently, if you’re registered in Athens county and you moved to another county where you also register, you will receive both a ballot from Athens County and from your new county if you leave a forwarding address with the post office in Athens County.

A simple solution would be to prohibit any forwarding of ballots by the U.S. Postal Service where a change in address is on file with the service. A review of the legislation does not contain such a prohibition even though such a prohibition would ensure that only current residents would receive a mail-in ballot. Even such a simple change would strengthen the integrity of our voting protocols nation wide. I leave it to the reader to infer why such a simple solution was not included.

Unfortunately, an overriding issue is the constitutionality of the proposed federal legislation to the extent that is seen as displacing the role of state legislation when it comes to their respective processes for the selection of presidential electors. We can expect that that question will require a high court resolution.

John L. Keifer

Athens, Ohio

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