In an interview with Jonathan Swan from Axios that aired on HBO, President Trump doubled down on the dangers of mail-in voting, saying it could take two months for Americans to find out the election results. This comes on the tail of states choosing to send mail-in ballots to every one of their residents. Mail-in voting is unprecedented in the United States, as absentee voting requires to request a ballot, and sign an affidavit that they have a genuine reason for not being able to go to the booth on election day. Maryland, for example, is sending absentee ballots instead of actual ballots. As a New York primary, that used mail-in voting, is still counting votes six weeks later, there are serious concerns over the election integrity if more states switch to mail-in voting.
Trump told Swan, “We went through World War I, you went to the polls, you voted. We went through World War II, you went to the polls, you voted. And now because of the China virus, we're supposed to stay home, send millions of ballots all over the country, millions and millions.”
Swan said to Trump that is shouldn’t matter if the election results come two months later, as the inauguration is two and half months later, and as long as the results are right, that’s what’s most important.
The Republican National Committee is bringing lawsuits against states that are enforcing mail-in voting. Trump on Twitter threatened Nevada over their late-night vote on Sunday to enforce mail-in voting. Republicans are also bringing up concerns that the USPS union has endorsed VP Joe Biden, and that as states are not sure of who has been deceased or moved out of the state, there is a lot of room for voter fraud. Ballots can also be lost in the mail or tampered with.
Democrats have tried to point to the similarities between absentee ballots and mail-in voting, but they are widely different. In Nevada, for example, a third party is able to fill out ballots for the disabled and elderly. VP Joe Biden has said that Trump is trying to “indirectly steal” the election from him by suppressing mail-in voting. But even in his tweet yesterday, the Democrat candidate did not advocate for states to completely switch to mail-in voting, knowing that this is a hot topic for many of his voters. He wrote,
“Every American should be able to safely make their voice heard this November. We need to:
- Expand vote-by-mail and early voting
- Implement online voter registration
- Make it safe and easy to vote in-person”
Something to think about: States should be able to implement safety precautions for their poll locations. If they are worried about long lines, they can open up a new space. This, actually, is an important election reform that is needed in many states, as long lines deter voter turnout. There is no reason, especially if schools are forced to remain closed, that there shouldn’t be enough space for voters to socially distance. For those who are disabled or elderly, they would be voting absentee anyway. To have mail-in ballots, and the ability to go to the polls, will create confusion and open up the door wide for voter fraud.
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