Absentee voting

While mailing in an absentee ballot is unfamiliar to many voters, the process is proven, efficient and secure.

I have spent most of my life talking to our community about health. I never thought I would have to talk about health when it comes to voting. But here we are in 2020 and voting is suddenly a health issue. I ask you to please think about it.

You shouldn’t have to risk your health to cast a ballot, especially in the midst of a pandemic.

When Michigan voters overwhelmingly passed Proposal 3 in 2018, it amended the state constitution to create automatic registration, same-day voter registration and no-excuse absentee voting. I am glad we did because whether people are elderly, at greater risk to COVID-19, or are simply fearful of becoming sick, they should have peace of mind that comes with knowing that voting will not jeopardize their health. You can legally and safely vote by mail or drop a ballot off at your local clerk’s office.

While mailing in an absentee ballot is unfamiliar to many voters, the process is proven, efficient and secure. And amid the COVID-19 crisis, it is the safest option available. The reality is, no one knows when there will be a resurgence of the virus. What we do seem to know is there will not be a vaccine available prior to the upcoming elections.

In the best interest of voters across our community, I am working with VoteSafe Michigan, a bipartisan coalition of voting experts, elected officials, health care professionals, and community leaders who support accessible, secure mail-in ballots and safe, in-person voting sites.

That effort is two-fold. First, voters need to know it is their constitutional right in Michigan to vote absentee and raise awareness that the process is safe and secure so they can pursue that option if they wish.

Second, we need to ensure our local clerks have the resources needed to process the increased number of absentee ballots expected. There will also be a greater need for PPE and other resources to protect our election workers and all voters who choose to vote in person.

We shouldn’t focus on the political games that have spread confusion on this issue – the stakes are too high. I’m proud to be part of a true bipartisan effort supporting all voters led by a prominent Republican, physician and former Congressman Joe Schwarz and Democrat, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

There is nothing any of us can do this year more important than voting. There is so much at stake for our Jewish community, our region, our state and our country. We must be able to do it safely, without a virus or political rhetoric getting in the way.

Please vote.

Florine Mark, President and CEO, The WW Group

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