Unprecedented number of absentee ballots requires vigilance

By PAUL DEMARCO / Guest Columnist 

We are now three weeks from the Nov. 3 elections, and it could be the largest turnout of voters in state history.

Already the Alabama Secretary of State is reporting that there will be more than 150,000 absentee ballots this election cycle which will break the record amount in past elections.

Due to the coronavirus, the rules have been relaxed to allow for more voters to participate in the election by absentee ballot.

There are those who legitimately want to take precautions to protect themselves from the spread of virus.

However, there is also the potential for abuse and fraud of absentee ballots, particularly with the overwhelming number that will be showing up at the courthouses this cycle.

Statewide so far there have been 132,000 applications for absentee ballots and there are already questions around the country about how the ballots are going to be processed, screened and validated.  The secretary of state is warning Alabama voters about efforts to defraud the system and improperly influence the upcoming elections with false information.

State election officials and voters need to beware of those who may try to improperly take advantage of the new flexible absentee voting rules put in place because of the pandemic.

The integrity of our election system will be tested this year, thus each of us should vote and be vigilant to watch for voter fraud in the process.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.