Prioritizing voter safety amid COVID-19 pandemic

According to


According to

Andrew Seckular and Sabrina Liding

This year has been one with many changes, the election process being one of them. Nov. 3 is no longer Election Day, instead it is the deadline of all voting. Mail-in ballots showed up in mailboxes across the country and there is a limited number of polling stations opened for voting. 

In New Jersey, it is still required that one polling station is opened in each municipality to make voting easier. Though polling stations are open, the New Jersey State Department sent ballots to the houses of every eligible voter. According to Tim Harper, Rachel Orey, and Collier Fernekes of the Bipartisan Policy Center this led to a surge in mail-in ballots, putting a strain on poll workers, who have to scan the barcode on each main-in ballot to verify the signature of the voter. “Cure letters” or the “Signature Cure Process” have also allowed voters to correct their signature if there is a mistake. It is a process that individuals can follow if their signature is denied or is missing. 

Senior student and recently eligible voter, Steven Ostrom of Middletown, opened up about his first voting experience., 

My first voting experience was definitely a little scary, as it’s a lot of responsibility to have as someone who just turned 18,” Ostrom said, “Mail-in voting scared me a bit as well, especially with all of the fraud that is talked about in [the] media. However, I’m… happy that I’m able to vote…and… can make my voice heard.” 

Instead of voting by mail, CHS English teacher Anne Kelterborn explained why she prefers voting in-person. 

“There’s something about the act of pushing the button that makes me feel like I’m exercising my right to vote.” Kelterborn said. “I’ve found it so stressful to complete the mail-in ballot…” 

Likewise, CHS Communications Technology teacher Amanda FitzPatrick also favors in-person voting. 

I typically bring my kids and I think it instills the importance of taking time out of the day to get this civic duty done.” Fitzpatrick said. “ …in this dumpster fire of a year, the mail-in-ballots are so important. Some people still aren’t comfortable going into public places…at home voting [lets] every person…cast their vote. This is a very important election year and it would be a shame for people to skip the voting process.”