Absentee ballots are needed because the traditional voting system is broken
Proponents say absentee ballots help mitigate the underfunded and messy US electoral system which otherwise leads to mass disenfranchisement. Anecdotes about waiting outside in the heat or in the rain for hours in order to cast a vote in a US election are not uncommon. There are large demographics of people who simply cannot physically cope with this, or cannot because they cannot take time off work or childcare. This is combined with what proponents claim are ‘deliberate attempts to make voting harder’ such as understaffed polling stations, unnecessary and difficult rules about voter identification and voter rolls purges. All these issues disenfranchise large swathes of people, directly violating their rights to vote. Vote-by-mail is a way to give these people the voice they are entitled to.