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In These Times - October 8, 2020

We can best safe­guard our democ­ra­cy this Novem­ber by uti­liz­ing ear­ly vot­ing and, if nec­es­sary, show­ing up to vote with our masks, in as many bat­tle­ground states as pos­si­ble. The Unit­ed States has reached such a per­ilous state that this sim­ple act has become heroic.

Joe Biden and the Democ­rats are walk­ing into a trap in the key bat­tle­ground states that will decide the upcom­ing pres­i­den­tial race, as well as key Sen­ate elec­tions. That trap is called ​“vote by mail” or ​“absen­tee voting.”

In nor­mal times, I am a pro­po­nent of hav­ing a vote by mail option. But these are not nor­mal times. For the Novem­ber 3 elec­tion, it makes much more sense to pro­mote ​“ear­ly vot­ing” in bat­tle­ground states rather than vote by mail. If they want to be sure that their votes will count, able-bod­ied vot­ers in com­pet­i­tive races should not mail in their bal­lots. Instead, they need to show up in per­son to vote, either before or on Elec­tion Day. Despite the dan­gers of the pan­dem­ic, vot­ers who do not have a com­pro­mised immune sys­tem need to do the hero­ic act of stand­ing in line with their masks on, just like we stand in line at the gro­cery store.

The fact is, even if there was no whiff of elec­toral fraud in the air, vote by mail has led to the loss of mil­lions of bal­lots due to errors on the part of the vot­ers, elec­tion admin­is­tra­tors and the postal ser­vice. Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers, espe­cial­ly minor­i­ty vot­ers and young peo­ple, are dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly hurt. The data is over­whelm­ing­ly clear on this, yet Democ­rats are ignor­ing it at their peril.

In the recent New York pri­ma­ry elec­tions, tens of thou­sands of mailed bal­lots were nev­er count­ed due to bureau­crat­ic mis­takes. Some bal­lots were post­marked after the elec­tion or nev­er post­marked at all by the postal ser­vice, mak­ing them invalid under state law. Oth­ers were dis­qual­i­fied because vot­ers did­n’t sign on an easy-to-miss sig­na­ture line on the back of the bal­lot enve­lope. Anoth­er 32,000 absen­tee bal­lots were mailed to vot­ers so late that they could­n’t return them in time to be count­ed. Just in New York City’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry, over 400,000 mail-in bal­lots were received, but elec­tion offi­cials inval­i­dat­ed more than 84,000 — over a fifth of those ballots. ...
Read full report at In These Times