Uncertainties over Covid-19 have spurred significant interest in voting by mail. The process differs substantially from absentee voting, which requires a voter to file an application and creates a documented paper trail. Vote by mail is simpler: Ballots are printed and sent to registered voters, who complete and return them.

Consider Washington state. Vote by mail was required in 2011, so the government has had nearly a decade to refine the process. True to form, I received my Aug. 4 primary ballot several weeks ahead of the…



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