'Bring the Ballot Box to Them' - Do You Support Vote By Mail?
Do you support moving the entire country to a vote-by-mail system?
by If You Can Keep It | 4.7.20
This is our first piece in a series on voting by mail, explaining its anticipated benefits. We’ll follow up with an entry on the arguments against it. Whether you're pro or con, join the conversation below.
Why consider vote by mail?
- Several 2020 presidential primaries have been delayed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A vote-by-mail system would provide citizens with a safe way to elect lawmakers while still respecting social-distancing guidelines.
- “In terms of the elections, I think we’ll probably be moving to vote by mail,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in an interview on MSNBC in late March.
“That’s why we wanted to have more resources in this third bill that just was signed by the president, to get those resources to the states to facilitate the reality of life: that we are going to have to have more vote by mail.”
Resilient Elections During Quarantines and Natural Disasters Act of 2020
- The House and Senate are currently considering the Resilient Elections During Quarantines and Natural Disasters Act of 2020.
- The bill, introduced by Rep Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), would require states and jurisdictions to adopt contingency plans and permit absentee voting in order to prevent the disruption of federal elections due to natural disasters or infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
- “The best way to ensure that this virus doesn’t keep people from the ballot box is to bring the ballot box to them,” the two senators wrote.
“We must allow every American the ability to vote by mail. And we must expand early voting so that voters who are not able to vote by mail are not exposed to the elevated infection risks of long lines and crowded polling locations.”
- Wyden's home state of Oregon already uses a vote-by-mail system.
Sooner rather than SCOTUS
- Wisconsin held its primary on Tuesday, April 7, after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the governor's attempt to postpone in-person voting.
- More than 1 million absentee ballots had been requested, quadruple Wisconsin's 2016 numbers.
- Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, had issued an executive order postponing in-person voting and extending the deadline for absentee ballots to June. Republican leaders challenged him in state court, and Wisconsin's Supreme Court reversed Evers' decision. After a federal appeals court refused to intercede, the Republican National Committee and GOP-controlled legislature took the case to SCOTUS, where the conservative-majority ruled against extending absentee voting.
- Creating some kind of plan for national vote-by-mail seven months before the 2020 election may give states the time they need to prevent these last-minute court decisions, which leave voters confused over whether they're heading to the ballots.
"Devastating to Republicans"
- Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) announced in late March that the state would be mailing absentee ballot requests to its 7 million voters “in an effort to allow as many Georgia voters as possible to exercise their right to vote without leaving their homes.”
- But Georgia state House Speaker David Ralston (R) came out against the move, arguing the system would be "devastating to Republicans."
“The president said it best, this will be extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives in Georgia.”
- Ralston was referring to comments made by President Donald Trump about the vote-by-mail proposal that had been included in a House version of the coronavirus relief legislation.
"They had things, levels of voting that if you ever agreed to, you would never have a Republican elected in this country again. They had things in there about election days and what you do and all sorts of drawbacks. They had things that were just totally crazy."
- “Wisconsin is just a microcosm. And it presents questions that the nation will soon have to grapple with,” said former Attorney General Eric Holder, who now heads an organization focused on gerrymandering and voting equality.
“It’s a test of our democracy. And the question is, ‘Are we up to passing that test?’”
What do you think?
Should all states adopt vote-by-mail? Take action above and share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: iStock / Bill Oxford)
'There Are More Things That Can Go Wrong With Vote By Mail' - Do You Agree?This is our second piece in a series on voting by mail, explaining its anticipated drawbacks. Our previous piece on its benefits
by If You Can Keep It | 4.8.20
Your Healthcare Horror StoriesAfter exploring possible pros and cons and Medicare For All, we asked for your healthcare horror stories.Thankfully my insurance
by If You Can Keep It | 2.24.20
How Much Do You Spend a Month on Healthcare? What’s Your Horror Story?You've read the arguments (or at least headlines) for and against Medicare For All:‘Healthcare Is a Human Right’ – The Case for
by If You Can Keep It | 2.21.20