Opinion The Democratic Advantage in Voting By Mail Is a Mixed Blessing

04:30  01 october  2020
04:30  01 october  2020 Source:   nymag.com

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Absentee voting and balloting by mail have generally been viewed as synonymous in the United In 2018, the EAVS reported that 68% of voters in states with permanent absentee laws voted with an absentee ballot. The scientific literature on this empirical question about turnout has been mixed .

Behind President Donald Trump's rhetoric railing against the expansion of vote - by - mail efforts ahead of the fall, his team is fighting to preserve the aspects of mail - in voting that they hope will offer Trump a strategic advantage .

If you have been paying any attention to politics this year, you are likely aware that President Trump has been demonizing voting by mail almost incessantly, and certainly since it became apparent that COVID-19 fears were producing a strong desire to avoid dangerous live election sites, along with efforts of election officials (initially, at least) in both parties to accommodate such fears.

text, letter: As the mail ballots roll in, the fight to get them counted is already raging. CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag © CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag As the mail ballots roll in, the fight to get them counted is already raging. CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

There is an ancient conservative prejudice against any voting innovations that burns bright at the Heritage Foundation, where hatred of voting by mail or really anything that might boost turnout is strong. Perhaps that influenced Trump, but he also seemed determined to convince his own supporters to vote in person on election day. In that, according to every available survey, he is succeeding. And that troubles some Republicans, the Washington Post reports:

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Mail -in ballots, particularly those sent without a voter ’s request, also could be prone to theft, von Spakovsky said. However, several anecdotal complaints to state and local election officials alleged that unaffiliated voters were mailed ballots to vote in the Democratic primary, which they weren’t

More Democratic voters than Republican ones in key battleground states have requested and returned their ballots for the November election. 'You'll see Democrats predominantly vote by mail , and our voters will come out in droves to vote in person, especially on Election Day.'

Democratic voters who have requested mail ballots — and returned them — greatly outnumber Republicans so far in key battleground states, causing alarm among GOP party leaders and strategists that President Trump’s attacks on mail voting could be hurting the party’s prospects to retain the White House and the Senate this year.

Of the more than 9 million voters who requested mail ballots through Monday in Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maine and Iowa, the five battleground states where such data is publicly available, 52 percent were Democrats. Twenty-eight percent were Republicans, and 20 percent were unaffiliated.

Additional internal Democratic and Republican Party data obtained by The Washington Post shows a similar trend in Ohio, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

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The terms absentee voting and mail - in voting are often used interchangeably. However, some election officials have started using the term " mail -in ballots" or " vote by mail " Ultimately, when states talk about mail - in voting , they're talking broadly about all ballots that are sent through the mail .

President Trump has said that expanding mail - in voting would help Democrats . Democratic leaders called the debacle an intentional attempt by Republicans to advantage their own Perez and Wikler both also said that expanding vote - by - mail — and early voting — shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

In a normal year that might be seen as a sign of superior Democratic enthusiasm or organization, or perhaps even of an impending landslide. But as we know, this isn’t a normal year, and one of the peculiarities has been the alacrity with which Republican voters have heeded Trump’s warnings that voting by mail is unclean. Will this presidential crusade backfire by denying Republicans votes that might otherwise count on, at least according to the old calculus when voting by mail had no particular partisan cast?

There are pros and cons to relying disproportionately on mail ballots. The big pros are twofold: (1) there are clearly voters, particularly older voters, who may stay home and not vote at all if they cannot vote by mail, particularly during a pandemic; and (2) early votes — by mail or in person — allow a candidate or party to “bank” votes and concentrate resources on turning out key swing voters or those who are more difficult to mobilize. There’s a third factor benefiting Democrats this year: so long as Biden is in the lead, getting a portion of the electorate to go ahead and vote gives him some protection from late swings in public opinion.

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List of the Advantages of Democracy 1. Democracies give people a chance to become personally involved with their government. It is a governing structure where rule comes from the people instead of the military or state. Although it is an option that is usually associated with the United States, the

A democratic leader is in position for a period. So there is a tendency to make money by use of power. During their tenure in office, they might take advantage of authority for personal gains, putting the interests of the Universal voting serves democratic society well when voters are well-informed.

The big disadvantage of heavy dependence on voting by mail is that mail ballots are much more likely than in-person ballots to be rejected by election officials for flaws ranging from late receipt to questionable signatures to errors in filling blanks and sealing envelopes. Poll workers can help in-person voters avoid or correct harmless errors; those who don’t interact with election officials at all are on their vulnerable own. This is one reason Democratic lawyers in many states are fighting for quick notice of flaws in early-processed mail ballots and an opportunity to “cure” them.

In addition to the likelihood that mail ballots will deduct a significant number of votes from the totals of candidates otherwise benefiting from them, this year there is an unprecedented risk of post-election invalidation of mail ballots by the massive armies of Republican lawyers who will be instructed to challenge them, at least in areas dominated by Democratic voters. As Trump himself indicated in the first presidential debate, he’s expecting a legal battle over “fraudulent” mail ballots that will go right up to the Supreme Court, where he is currently trying to place his third justice.

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Email doesn't worry about crossing time zones or that collegues are not in their offices to take telephone calls. Email can be sent to groups of Many people prefer to communicate by email . People are more likely to receive quick but thoughtful responses than if they were using the phone.

But Democrats faced a wall of resistance from Republicans who saw political advantage in leaving existing Almost forgotten amid a life-or-death debate about voting procedures was a Democratic Rise in Mail Voting : About three-quarters of all American voters will be eligible to receive a ballot in

And hovering over the entire process is the possibility that Trump will claim victory after forging to an early lead based on in-person voting. Then he would use political and legal measures to stop the counting of mail ballots, extend the count until deadlines have expired, and perhaps encourage Republican legislatures to appoint pro-Trump electors who ultimately determine the president and nullify the popular vote. Trump’s refusal to rule out such a scenario in Tuesday’s debate was not a good sign.

So maybe the Democratic tilt of mail ballots so far is a good thing for the Donkey Party or more likely it’s too early to tell. As for Republicans, they are stuck with a president who has enlisted them in a war on easier voting. And while they may work around him to encourage some voting by mail, particularly in states like Florida where it has long been central to GOP election success, Republicans voters will listen to their leader’s voice.

'Staggering numbers': Early voting is breaking records in 2020, fueled by a big mail-ballot lead for Democrats .
More than 5 million people have already voted early in the presidential election. Democrats have taken a commanding lead in returning mail ballots.In the 2016 election, about 75,000 people had voted early one month from the election, across significantly fewer states that started early voting and reported their numbers, according to the United States Elections Project.

usr: 0
This is interesting!