Requests for mail-in ballot causes debate

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— As the run-off and general elections get closer, and a vaccine for the coronavirus nowhere in sight, many are concerned about heading to the polls.

“I totally do not support mail-in ballot in any shape form or fashion right now,” 13th District Candidate Ronny Jackson said.

Generally voting by mail is permitted for the elderly and disabled, or for voters who are not in their county at the times of the election or those confined to jail but now many say due to the COVID-19 pandemic, guidelines should be adjusted.

However, many like 13th District Candidate Josh Winegarner disagreed.

“I have a problem with mail-in ballots only because we cannot prove that they actually got delivered to the person that’s meant to be voting,” Winegarner said.

Jackson agreed, saying there is no control over it.

“I think the governor has had fantastic leadership on this, he has pushed the runoff election he’s pushed the run-off election in my case from the 26th of May to the 14th of July, so I think that is going to be appropriate, I think we are going to be in a position where we can vote in person by that time,” Jackson said.

And some election administrators like Val McClain agreed, saying while Clay County is small and there has been no evidence of voting fraud, it does allow voting harvesters to take advantage of the system.

“If everyone can stand in line at Walmart and the grocery store I don’t see why they can’t come out and vote and stand in line,” McClain said.

McClain said Clay County have installed sneeze guards to protect voters and workers and implementing extra precautions.

Jackson and Winegarner said expansion because of the virus is needed.

“If you qualify today for a mail-in ballot and you request one then you should be able to do that moving forward,” Winegarner said.

Winegarner and Jackson said voting in person is essential and are strongly opposed to other options.

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