It’s election time once again, and like everything this year, things are looking a little different at the polls. With COVID-19 keeping people away from public places, mail-in ballot usage is at an all time high. Also, involvement in this year’s election is being broadcast on a variety of different mediums to combat the lack of social interaction.
There are many ways people can stay involved with the election without fear of breaking social distancing. Technology has revamped the way people look at the election process, allowing millions of people to register online as well as request their mail-in ballots. All this is to allow people to still perform their civic duties while remaining within the safety of their own homes.
“It really has gotten easier in the past few years with the advancement of technology,” UW-Whitewater Professor David Beyea said, “It’s really as simple as getting on your computer and getting registered.”
Beyea also spoke about how there are many ways to stay involved with the polls even after voting. There are cable news sources and YouTube channels, as well as entire online websites dedicated to releasing any and all new information pertaining to the election process as it happens. All of them are just one short google search away.
“It’s really important to get out there and vote, no matter what,” Whitewater student Matt Hanley said. “People are out there to help you, and they are trained to make it a safe experience.”
Aside from being a student here at UW-Whitewater, Hanley is also a poll worker. He explained that those who are working in polling locations are all educated on proper procedures to keep things socially-distanced and sanitary. COVID-19 has a lot of people who might not have access to stable wifi or other technological means of registering afraid to go out, but Hanley wanted to assure anyone hesitant to go out and vote in person that all polling locations are working hard to keep people safe while they are there.
“Voting is important, especially in swing states,” UW-Whitewater senior Brandon Fischer said, “it’s how you let people know what you’re about and influence the changes you want to see in the country.”
Fischer also joked about the amount of mail he receives regarding this year’s election – both physical letters and envelopes, as well as emails, text messages and so many more kinds of messaging. For Fischer it proved how important voting is to the welfare of the country.