To be sure, it’s good news that a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed the even most Republicans think we should vote by mail if we’re still facing the COVID-19 pandemic in November. 65% of Republicans thought so, as did 79% of Democrats. So, done deal, right?
Not necessarily. What happens as Republicans keep being reminded that Republican politicians are afraid too many people will vote? As the linked article says, “President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election this year, has been trying with other Republicans to discourage efforts to expand voting by mail, saying it would increase the chance of voter fraud.”
Trump, of course, said the quiet part out loud: “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
I’m skeptical that voting by mail will benefit Democrats more than Republicans, but I’m pretty sure it’s only a matter of time before Republicans get in line with their politicians and turn against mail ballots. I wish that didn’t sound so patronizing, but we’ve seen it enough times already. Improved safety for voters might well encourage more turnout, which is a good thing in principle, however they’re going to vote.
The public argument Republicans are already making is that mail ballots are subject to rampant voter fraud, presumably allowing many votes by non-citizens. They say that about all elections, at least when they lose, and they’ve been promoting this voter-fraud fraud so many years, that we can really say “decades” at this point.
We can assume that not only will the federal government not require states to do this while Republicans hold the Senate, the White House, and the Supreme Court, any one of which is sufficient to block, but no Republican controlled states will vote by mail willingly, and it will be tough to get it through in states where control is split.
In Minnesota’s instance, of course, the MNGOP holds the Senate, and that might be enough to block it. What we should do is move to all-mail voting now, before Republican opposition coalesces.
I’m only a candidate, so my support is of questionable import, but tell your elected officials to support vote by mail. Fortunately, Secretary of State Steve Simon is already on board, but tell other elected officials you think we need to plan NOW to implement all-mail voting this year. Do it now, before Republicans figure out enough ways to delay that there actually won’t be time to implement it.