Support for mail-in ballots has not always been a very partisan issue. For years, states have had a framework to deploy mail-in ballots during elections. The recent Democratic primaries were conducted through mail-in ballots to ensure the safety of the citizens.
The coronavirus pandemic is not going anywhere. There is mutual agreement on the fact that a vaccine is not possible in the foreseeable months. This makes mail-in ballots an obvious solution for the elections in November. In many states across the country, there is an understanding that mail ballots could be the only solution to conduct elections safely.
In a pandemic, the first rule is to avoid any large gathering. It makes little sense then to conduct elections in the traditional way in November. Mail ballots are a logical solution. However, one person has made it a hyper-partisan issue – President Trump.
Trump’s Opposition to Mail-In Ballots
GET RID OF BALLOT HARVESTING, IT IS RAMPANT WITH FRAUD. THE USA MUST HAVE VOTER I.D., THE ONLY WAY TO GET AN HONEST COUNT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2020
In a tweet on April 14, President Trump single-handedly made mail in ballots a partisan issue. Conservative media outlets followed the president’s cue.
Trump fears Democrats may try to rig the election against him through mail ballots. These fears echo his campaign rhetoric in 2016 when he claimed that if he lost, the whole system is rigged. Stoking the same fear now is more dangerous because going out to vote could actually have health-oriented consequences. Trump’s opposition to mail in ballots could cause more cases of coronavirus and lead to further chaos.
58% Americans Want Mail-In Ballot Option According to Poll
In a poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, 58% of Americans are in favour of mail-in ballots. However, only 31% of Republicans in the survey agreed to the idea.
President Trump’s reelection campaign sent out a fundraising mail talking about how the Democrats may use ballot harvesting to get liberal candidates elected. The strong opposition of the president to mail in ballots is likely the reason for its opposition amongst Republicans.
Generally, Republicans do make voter fraud an issue during campaigns. President Trump is not the first to do the same. However, given the unique scenario the pandemic presents, it is important to look at the proposition of mail in ballots without bias. If it’s not, voting in November could become a health calamity. Democrats may include funding for mail-in ballots in their stimulus plan. However, the passage of such a plan through Congress is dubious at best.