To the Editor,

What can go wrong in an election decided by mail-in paper ballots ?

Let me count the ways. I was introduced to political corruption in elections when I came to college in Chicago in 1949 and became an IVI volunteer to monitor what was happening at elections. All Daley then, no Trump.

There was the trick of recruiting people from skid row with a bottle of cheap Abie's Irish Rose who were given a pre- filled in paper ballot and instructed to go to the polling place to vote and - to collect their bottle - to deposit the already filled in ballot and bring back the unmarked ballot they received inside, that could then be used with the next fixed voter.

Now, with a mail box, no need to even go to the polls. And a bottle is no longer needed.

Crooked voting officials had a number of other tricks with paper ballots. When the ballots were being counted, if for the other side they could be spoiled and disqualified simply by having a piece of lead under a finger nail to make improper marks on a ballot. And, of course, at the counting to "cast votes" for the dead and any registered voters who didn't show up to vote, creating even more votes for the machine candidates. Voting machines were supposed to correct all that. I remember the famous 24,000 votes that came out of nowhere to win Illinois for JFK and enable him to become president.

Now machine politicians want to go back to paper ballots - mailed in - an invitation to return to the corrupt old days. And today there are even more creative ways to commit fraud with mail in ballots in close elections.

Herb Caplan, attorney at law (ret)

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