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McLennan County election workers respond to mail-in voting controversy

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Posted at 5:27 PM, Oct 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-04 18:27:57-04

MCLENNAN COUNTY, TX — By now, you've no doubt heard about the controversy over mail-in ballots this election season.

It's become the hot topic this year.

But does all the criticism stand up to what election workers do here in Central Texas?

Our election workers say they aim to make ballots by mail air-tight.

"This is crazy what's going on, it's crazy." said President Trump at a recent rally.

He once again took aim at the process of voting by mail, a process most say has worked well for years.

"I believe in the United States Post Office. And I really believe they're really going to do their best to make sure they're not tampered with," said Waco voter Chelsea Macias.

After all, Macias points out, the post office is part of the government and who heads the government?

Here in Texas, election workers from the boss all the way down sort ballots mailed in from voters.

"We're sending out ballots every day and those ballots are coming back into us every day," explained Kathy Van Wolfe, McLennan County Elections Administrator.

Who gets them?

Those 65 and older, the disabled, and people who will be out of the county on election day, but they have to provide an out-of-county address to which workers will mail that ballot.

Voters then mail the ballot back.

It seemed fool proof until politicians started talking it down.

So far, nobody's found a replacement as good as the United States Postal Service and local election offices.

"That's what the process is that we're doing now, is the mail comes in and we stamp it and we get it in order so that we can have it to file away," said Van Wolfe.

She keeps careful track of who gets a ballot.

But now, the President, who apparently doesn't trust the mail, wants us to use our mail ballots as backup.

"Make sure you send the ballot and then go to your polling place and make sure it counts, make sure it counts," he said.

Election experts say what he's talking about is having your mail ballot canceled and casting a new one on the spot.

McLennan County Elections Chief Van Wolfe says she doesn't know anyone who would count them both.

"No, you can't vote twice. In fact, as soon as we mail these ballots out to you, whether you return it or not, we're marking you in our system that you have a ballot so we know you have a ballot."

She says it's only one to a customer.

"You're not gonna be allowed to vote by mail and in person...not in McLennan County," she insisted.

That gives Chelsea Macias comfort, along with something else.

"I really want to have faith in the postal service," she said.