Promoted as a precaution in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats have pushed in recent weeks to transition every state in the nation to 100% mail-in ballots for November’s elections.
That effort just received a boost from former President Barack Obama, who stepped in last week to make it known that he supports the idea of voting by mail, The Washington Times reported.
Obama pushes for “vote by mail”
Obama’s support for the idea was made known Friday, when the former president posted a thread of tweets calling for action after Wisconsin held its Democratic primary elections last week, despite concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
Sharing an article from The New York Times about what happened in Wisconsin, Obama tweeted: “No one should be forced to choose between their right to vote and their right to stay healthy like the debacle in Wisconsin this week.”
He later shared an article from NPR regarding the coronavirus and its potential impact on the 2020 elections, writing, “Everyone should have the right to vote safely, and we have the power to make that happen. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue.”
Obama concluded his brief thread with another article from the Times, this time supposedly debunking criticisms of mail-in voting. “Let’s not use the tragedy of a pandemic to compromise our democracy. Check the facts of vote by mail,” the former president tweeted.
Wisconsin’s “debacle” of a primary
The thing is, it was bipartisan bungling in Wisconsin that resulted in the “debacle” of a primary election: the Democratic governor waited until the day before it was to be held to suddenly announce a delay, which prompted Republican legislators to push back and resulted in the state Supreme Court weighing in — correctly, at least on the legal and technical issues raised — to order the election to proceed as initially planned.
In other words, it was totally avoidable.
Furthermore, it is, in fact, Democrats who’ve insisted on politicizing this election issue right in the midst of the ongoing tragedy by insisting on including an undeniable partisan agenda item in the government’s broader response to the public health crisis.
Opposition from the right
President Donald Trump, for his part, has made it abundantly clear that he stands firmly opposed to Democrats’ demands for mail-in voting, pointing out the potential for fraud while also encouraging the Republican Party to stand firmly alongside him in opposition.
To be sure, even Trump admits that there is a place for mail-in ballots in how states manage their elections — absentee and military ballots being prime examples — but has been clear that those should be the limited exception to the rule and cannot replace in-person voting, preferably with a valid ID, on Election Day.
Ideally, the coronavirus pandemic will be long gone before Election Day comes, rendering this whole issue moot.