Jennette Williams, whose letter you published on Jan. 7, is not alone. I also registered with the Voter Information Portal to track the ballot I placed in the U.S. Mail three weeks before Election Day, and my ballot also never arrived. I went to my polling place on Election Day and cast a provisional ballot, which fortunately counted.

This was not my only poor experience with mail-in voting last year. Essex County disqualified my vote in our local mayor and council elections, apparently because someone thought my signature did not closely enough match the one on file.  No one told me of the problem or gave me a chance to correct it.  Many votes were similarly disqualified in Montclair, and we now how close the mayoral election was.

Mail-in voting can be done correctly. In Oregon, however, state officials tested the process in multiple elections over more than a decade before using it in a presidential race. New Jersey, by contrast, adopted mail-in voting “on the fly.” Our officials’ intentions to protect the public from COVID-19 obviously were good, but just as obviously, the system had problems.

Jeffrey S. Jacobson


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