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Opinion The difference between absentee ballots and voting by mail

An absentee ballot is sent in the mail, whereas a mail-in vote is mailed in. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Absentee Ballots are a great way to vote for the many senior citizens, military, and others who can’t get to the polls on Election Day. These ballots are very different from 100% Mail-In Voting, which is “RIPE for FRAUD,” and shouldn’t be allowed!

— President Trump, on Twitter

You may be wondering: What is the difference, exactly, between absentee ballots (a great way to vote) and mail-in voting (shouldn’t be allowed)? Wonder no longer!

An absentee ballot is sent in the mail, whereas a mail-in vote is mailed in. Sending ballots in the mail is famously secure, but mailing in votes is ripe for all kinds of fraud and confusion.

An absentee ballot is filled out in pen or pencil, whereas a mail-in vote is filled in with ink or graphite. Already you see how different the two are, and how much riper for fraud one is.

An absentee ballot is placed in an envelope, whereas a mail-in vote is enclosed in an envelope. The difference in security should be obvious.

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An absentee ballot must be signed, whereas a mail-in vote requires a signature. An envelope containing an absentee ballot must be closed securely, while an envelope containing a mail-in vote must be sealed. On an absentee ballot, a voter marks their preferred candidates, but on a mail-in vote, a voter fills in the ballot to indicate the candidates of their choice.

An absentee ballot is cast by a Republican, whereas a mail-in vote is sent by a Democrat.

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