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house Bill H.R. 6202

Should States Adopt Contingency Plans for Holding Federal Elections During Natural Disasters and Pandemics?

Argument in favor

Conducting free, fair elections is an essential component of democracy, and it shouldn’t be derailed by natural disasters and diseases. Requiring states to develop vote-by-mail contingency plans now will help ensure that the presidential election in November can still occur even if COVID-19 isn’t controlled by then.

jimK's Opinion
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06/13/2020
Yes! The right of all citizens to vote is a central pillar of our democratic republic. If anything prevents some people from being able to cast their vote, to be counted- measures must be taken to assure that they can still vote and be represented. I think mail-in balloting should be an option for all registered voters anyway. Short of that, there needs to be allowances for natural disasters, pandemics or whatever may threaten our electorate’s ability to vote their conscience. Let’s move toward assuring that all who want to vote can do so. I find it beyond disgusting that any politician or political party would try to cheat people out of their voting rights to benefit their political interests. Any politician or any political organization that tries to stack the deck in their favor by suppressing the right of all to vote is by nature, fundamentally anti-American and should be politically abolished since they are not honoring nor respecting our constitution or our country (which by definition is all of the people being governed).
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Robert j.'s Opinion
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06/13/2020
Not all disasters are man made. But those that are — like GA — could use a plan. It’s time to revamp the Voting Rights Act.
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Leslie's Opinion
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06/13/2020
Vote by mail! We already have some form of vote by mail in 34 states with no restrictions & all 50 states if you include states requiring a valid excuse. Some states have declared Covid-19 a valid excuse. 1) five states have default mail elections (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah & Washington) 2) 29 states (plus Washington, D.C.) have vote by mail — also known as no-excuse absentee voting but voter needs to request ballot 3) 16 states require voters to provide a valid excuse to vote by mail (some states like NH accept coronavirus as an excuse) Need to make it consistent that all states send ballots for 2020 elections like they do in processing RealID where DMV issues a temporary and RealID is mailed to confirm address on file, or 2020Census is mailed. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/few-states-are-prepared-to-switch-to-voting-by-mail-that-could-make-for-a-messy-election/
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Argument opposed

The Constitution gives states the authority to determine how they hold elections, and this bill represents federal overreach because states are capable of making their own contingency plans. Vote by mail could harm a number of vulnerable populations, including rural and urban voters, minorities, and abused women, by making it harder for them to cast ballots that reflect their personal beliefs.

Kman's Opinion
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06/13/2020
Our Federal elections have survived just fine.
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Steven's Opinion
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06/13/2020
Election should be held like they’ve always been.
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Caren's Opinion
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06/13/2020
NO! Mail in voting will definitely be a vehicle where anyone’s vote can be altered and stolen. That is how Democrats work. Their motto is by whatever means necessary and there is absolutely no low that Democrats won’t stoop to. No to mail in voting where votes are easily altered and stolen. Implement harsh punishments for anyone who alters a vote. If states force voting by mail then individuals should write their name on the ballot, maybe their social security number, make copies and send a copy to the White House and request that your vote is verified at your local election office. Further if natural disasters or illness prevents voting at the polls then perhaps it is better for the election to be delayed until the interrupting events pass. No and heck no to mail in voting where mail can be lost, misplaced at election offices, and altered to steal elections. Let the punishment for altering votes be the death penalty and anyone remotely deemed guilty would face that sentence. The only way out of that punishment would be to give up who gave those orders but still there would be life in prison. NO TO MAIL IN VOTING!!
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    Yes! The right of all citizens to vote is a central pillar of our democratic republic. If anything prevents some people from being able to cast their vote, to be counted- measures must be taken to assure that they can still vote and be represented. I think mail-in balloting should be an option for all registered voters anyway. Short of that, there needs to be allowances for natural disasters, pandemics or whatever may threaten our electorate’s ability to vote their conscience. Let’s move toward assuring that all who want to vote can do so. I find it beyond disgusting that any politician or political party would try to cheat people out of their voting rights to benefit their political interests. Any politician or any political organization that tries to stack the deck in their favor by suppressing the right of all to vote is by nature, fundamentally anti-American and should be politically abolished since they are not honoring nor respecting our constitution or our country (which by definition is all of the people being governed).
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    Our Federal elections have survived just fine.
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    Not all disasters are man made. But those that are — like GA — could use a plan. It’s time to revamp the Voting Rights Act.
    Like (60)
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    Vote by mail! We already have some form of vote by mail in 34 states with no restrictions & all 50 states if you include states requiring a valid excuse. Some states have declared Covid-19 a valid excuse. 1) five states have default mail elections (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah & Washington) 2) 29 states (plus Washington, D.C.) have vote by mail — also known as no-excuse absentee voting but voter needs to request ballot 3) 16 states require voters to provide a valid excuse to vote by mail (some states like NH accept coronavirus as an excuse) Need to make it consistent that all states send ballots for 2020 elections like they do in processing RealID where DMV issues a temporary and RealID is mailed to confirm address on file, or 2020Census is mailed. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/few-states-are-prepared-to-switch-to-voting-by-mail-that-could-make-for-a-messy-election/
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    Rule of thumb: If participants could die as a direct result of participating in their government, then there should be both a contingency plan and a mitigation plan. If mail-in ballots aren’t an option... then create an early voting task force and take the vote to every registered voter’s doorstep in this country. If I can pay my taxes online, then I should be able to determine how those taxes are spent and by whom online. ———————— JunnaLayn, I would like to add a full psych evaluation as recommend by numerous psychologists in The Dangerous Case of Donald J Trump and A Duty to Warn, along with the recommended revisions to the Goldwater law. Reference: Lee, Bandy X. (2019-02-19). "Violence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Causes, Consequences, and Cures". Wiley.com. ^ "Transcript of the Duty to Warn Conference" (PDF). ^ Lee, Bandy X. "Mental health experts see Trump is dangerous, but our professional gatekeepers protect him". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2020-01-30. ^ "Mental Health Experts Claim Their Right to Speak". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2020-02-02. ^ "Psychiatrist issues urgent warning over Trump's mental health". The Independent. 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2020-02-02. ^ Jump up to a b c d Are Donald Trump’s test results fake news? Rhys Blakely, The Times, 18 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018. (subscription required) ^ Jump up to a b c d e Bandy X. Lee, MD, MDiv. Archived 2018-01-18 at the Wayback Machine Yale School of Medicine: Psychiatry. Retrieved 21 January 2018. ^ Jump up to a b Bandy Lee, Yale University's Violence and Health Study Group. Archived 2016-04-03 at the Wayback Machine Violence Prevention Alliance, World Health Organization. Retrieved 23 January 2018. ^ Morris, Alex; Morris, Alex (2018-11-12). "What Happens When the Walls Finally Close in on Trump?". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-01-21. ^ Sheehy, Gail. "At Yale, Psychiatrists Cite Their 'Duty to Warn' About an Unfit President". Intelligencer. Retrieved 2020-01-21. ^ "Interview: Law Professor Richard Painter, Psychiatrist Bandy Lee Explain Views on Trump's Trial". lawandcrime.com. Retrieved 2020-01-21. ^ Jump up to a b Psychiatrist Bandy Lee: "We have an obligation to speak about Donald Trump’s mental health issues. . . . Our survival as a species may be at stake". Archived 2017-11-06 at the Wayback Machine Chauncey DeVega, Salon, 25 May 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2018. ^ "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump" A new book delves into the president’s mental health. Rosemary K.M. Sword and Philip Zimbardo, Psychology Today, 28 September 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2018. ^ "Correspondence: Psychiatrists Diagnosing the President — Moral Imperative or Ethical Violation?", New England Journal of Medicine, December 27, 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2018. ^ "Psychiatrists call for rollback of policy banning discussion of public figures’ mental health", STAT News, June 28, 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2018. ^ "The Goldwater rule is broken. Here's how to fix it". STAT. 2018-06-28. Retrieved 2020-01-21. ^ B; Lee, Y. X.; Glass, Leonard L. "We're Psychiatrists. It's Our Duty to Question the President's Mental State". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-21. ^ Porter, Tom. "350 health professionals sign letter to Congress claiming Trump's mental health is deteriorating dangerously amid impeachment proceedings". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-12-06. Additionally, I would like all elected government officials to have to to provide proof they have the requisite knowledge either via education or be able to pass a standardized content-specific test. Note: until such standardized tests can be developed, we can use the various ap history tests taken by high school students all across America.
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    I don’t know why this is even a question!
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    Yes, and in case Donald Trump should succeed in shutting down the Postal Service!
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    The plan: USPS for mail in voting.
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    Vote by mail and problem is solved. Come on! Y’all vote by mail yourselves. You have to. It’s not like you are ever in Arkansas when it’s not campaign season.
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    When challenging times like the ones we are experiencing occur, we should seize the opportunities provided for re-examining and re-evaluating our standard way of living and working to better prepare us for a new way of being in the newly developed world post-event. A lot is going to change in America,in the world, going forward. We can no longer wait around just to see what might happen. Direct action is now called for. The most significant aspect of this pandemic for the US has been the recognition that the balance between freedom and safety is precarious in ways we would never have imagined. And it is sobering to recognize that our system of government which serves and has served us so well for more than two centuries has finally come face to face with its serious flaws and weaknesses. It is both scary and rejuvenating. For those of us who have generally speaking been of the left-leaning persuasion, even if we tend toward more centrist views in certain circumstances, it is sobering to find our focus on making the federal government the source of national change has its limitations. The dynamics of this pandemic combined with the vacuum of leadership in the White House and at most levels big federal governing has left us to our own devices. And, I would suggest, it has reminded us of the reality underlying the oft repeated phrase “all politics is local”, which in our newly achieved awareness could actually be rephrased as “EVERYTHING is local “. We are now FULLY aware, perhaps, that under some circumstances our government can have the plug pulled at the national level in such a way as to destroy the underpinnings of our national structure entirely. And now we can see how vital the leadership at the state and local level is and how it has been undermined over several decades, and what an essential component it is of our self-governing, democratic republic. We can -also, if we are willing to acknowledge it, see how vital each and every one of us as citizen-voters is to the stability of the nation as a whole. Our entire ability to function as a nation is determined by how our state and local electoral systems function. In circumstances such as we are experiencing, maintaining the voice of We the People is crucial to recovering our balance in the wake of this tsunami. Your city council members have become the last bastions of sanity, and unfortunately many are unprepared and underfunded. Despite this, many are rising to the occasion, offering leadership and support for alternatives to the standard trek to the polls on Election Day. This is a BIG wake-up call to all of us who tend to seek federal answers for every question. YES, absolutely, every state, every local government must now identify and ensure implementation of forms of delivering free and fair elections to their constituents. Federal funds should support these efforts and oversight of their implementation should be required. Yes, we need a central government to provide a framework that can enable all states and territories to equally and fairly implement the conduct of federal, state and local elections across the nation. But our local and state governments MUST be provided with the legal and financial framework to be effective in their roles. It’s a new day, my fellow Americans! 🗽🇺🇸
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    Why is this even a question...should have been in place already With multi-factor authentication remote or smartphone voting is entirely safe - finger print-face scan-iris scan-voice-random password-location etc. Republicans have always pursued many forms of voter suppression so mail/secure electronic is something they will do their best to avoid If banking / ss / irs can be secure via smartphone then so can voting! You can even combine mail & electronic so when both match your vote gets registered Many possibilities
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    Vote by mail. It’s obvious. And dealing with that myself this year there is NO WAY TO CHEAT like Trump said!! Application has to be made to vote by mail, then application has to be made to vote in each election, in my state a driver’s license or other identification is necessary- thank you Chris Kobach & ExGov Brownback did that - and then the votes come in separate envelops at certain times & you have a length of time to vote & send it back. THERE IS NO WAY THE VOTES CAN BE COPIED. THEY HAVE INDIVIDUAL NUMBERS. TRUMP & REPUBLICANS ARE WRONG!!!! AS USUAL.
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    Without competent federal leadership we must, it’s the right of every citizen to vote. If we want to hold a fraudulent charity golf tournament I’m sure Donnie would help out. He’s already stole as much of the pandemic bailout money he could get his hands on, and his need to steal is never satisfied.
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    Voting should be easy and timely.
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    our elections are in jeopardy anyway!!! We need to have a plan B before our President sells us to either Russia or China!!! Which ever one wants us after he bankrupts us... we already know this next election will not be legitimate!!! He’s basically announced it!!! Charades charades charade
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    Of course there should be contingency plans – especially in the age of global warming with its increased severe storms, wind, and rains. Add pandemic and it’s a necessity. Since the vote is so important and can help protect us from a dictatorship, all states should have mail-in voting that includes observed accurate accounting.
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    Yep!.....It boggles the mind, that this has NOT been done before this....contingency plans are ALWAYS a good idea.
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    Contingency Plans? Seems somewhat late for a “contingency.” The pandemic is already present and the only disaster appears to be mob protests against ……… You can pick your favorite. But isn't it a little late? A contingency is a future plan prior to the actual emergency. You can not make plans after the emergency has occurred. A ”let's break this window” or ”loot that store” or even ”topple a statue” are normally not considered a contingency as Hurricanes, earthquakes or flooding. However, it seems mob protests, looting, or securing private property has become the ”new, new normal.” Guess you could throw in guns and ammo into this ”normal” too.
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    NO! Mail in voting will definitely be a vehicle where anyone’s vote can be altered and stolen. That is how Democrats work. Their motto is by whatever means necessary and there is absolutely no low that Democrats won’t stoop to. No to mail in voting where votes are easily altered and stolen. Implement harsh punishments for anyone who alters a vote. If states force voting by mail then individuals should write their name on the ballot, maybe their social security number, make copies and send a copy to the White House and request that your vote is verified at your local election office. Further if natural disasters or illness prevents voting at the polls then perhaps it is better for the election to be delayed until the interrupting events pass. No and heck no to mail in voting where mail can be lost, misplaced at election offices, and altered to steal elections. Let the punishment for altering votes be the death penalty and anyone remotely deemed guilty would face that sentence. The only way out of that punishment would be to give up who gave those orders but still there would be life in prison. NO TO MAIL IN VOTING!!
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    The future of our republic depends upon an open and fair election where everyone eligible to vote is able to vote!
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