You’ve got to give President Trump credit. Say what you will about his statements and Twitter posts, but he gets people talking about important issues. The latest example comes from a recent tweet in which Trump warned against the possibility of fraud in mail-in-ballots, especially in California.
The integrity of elections is paramount. That much was never in question. However, both sides of the political aisle are accusing the other of intending to commit voter fraud if a mail-in system is adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both sides of the debate are getting key aspects wrong.
My general opinion is that able body people, with a few exceptions, should vote the old-fashioned way: at polling stations. It’s just that simple.
Millions of people around the world would kill to have the opportunity to vote in fair elections like we have in this country. People that are complaining about not being able to vote via mail should just get off their butts and take themselves down to their local precinct polling station. Election officials usually go out of their way to make sure they’re conveniently placed so that it’s not overly burdensome to get there.
During this ongoing debate, many conservatives are claiming that mail-in-voting will exclusively benefit the Democrats. The recent mail-in-ballot election of Mike Garcia as Congressman in California makes this point…but conservatives are missing some key facts.
USA Today reported, “The general perception is that vote-by-mail would benefit Democrats. At least in 2020, this is a questionable premise. Polls show Republicans typically do well with voters over 65, the demographic most likely to avoid showing up at polls because of the coronavirus. Utah implemented vote-by-mail in 2012 and still has a Republican-controlled state legislature. And in 2018, turnout in the state exceeded the national average for the first time in 20 years.”
On the other hand, the Dems and their allies in the media are wrong to claim that President Trump is exaggerating the deficiencies of mail-in ballots. There are ample examples from across the nation that have shown there are issues with mailing in votes. My contention is simply that, as of now, mail-in-ballots don’t favor one party over the other. Both parties should be equally concerned with making sure are elections are handled legitimately, and a mail-in system gives both parties ample opportunity for cheating and fraud.
Writing for Real Clear Politics, Mark Hemmingway said: “ In 378 U.S. counties, voter registration rates exceed 100% of the adult population, meaning there are more voter registrations on file than the total voting-age population, according to a new analysis by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.
Based on data the federal Electoral Assistance Commission released last year, the new analysis indicates that a minimum of 2.5 million voter registrations are wrongly listed as valid. It suggests a widespread lack of compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which requires states to remove people who have died, moved, or are otherwise ineligible to vote from the rolls. While having excess registrations isn’t proof of voter fraud, voter integrity advocates note that it does create opportunities for deception, such as allowing people to vote twice in different precincts or submit invalid absentee ballots.”
Writing in The Washington Post, Marc Thiessen stated: “No one questions that mail-in ballots have much higher rates of not being counted. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study found that in the 2008 presidential election, 7.6 million of 35.5 million mail-in ballots requested were not counted because they never reached voters or were rejected for irregularities. That is a failure rate of more than 21 percent. In 2008, it did not matter because the election was not particularly close and mail-in ballots only accounted for a fraction of votes cast. But imagine the impact that would have in a close election in which mail-in voting is tried on a massive scale.”
As all these studies prove, election fraud via mail-in ballots is a legitimate concern and should be solved by both parties working together. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue.
Of course, I am also not completely naïve. Everything is political these days, even the simple issue of wearing a face mask in public. We live in difficult times.
But on the issue of election integrity, the solution is relatively straightforward: just go vote in-person! You can even wear a mask to the polling station if you want.
There, problem solved.