12 April 2020

Voting by mail for the 2020 election

All six of the swing states that both sides see as the most probable tipping points allow their residents to vote by mail for any reason, and there’s virtually no chance that any of them will retrench their existing laws this year. That means that, however much Trump rages, the legal structure is in place for a mail-voting surge in those decisive states: Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona in the Sun Belt and Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the Rust Belt...

But experts in voter turnout and mail voting anticipate that however these fights play out, the share of Americans who cast ballots by mail in November may roughly double from the previous presidential election, from just under one-quarter in 2016 to about one-half this year...

This shift will create enormous logistical challenges, particularly in states where relatively few people historically have used the option. But contrary to the president’s warnings, the evidence suggests it is unlikely to provide a clear advantage for either party. Using data from the large post-election poll known as the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology political scientist Charles Stewart found that roughly the same share of Republicans and Democrats voted by mail in 2016...

Five states, the smallest grouping, are “all mail” states: Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, and, starting this year, Hawaii. There, all eligible voters are mailed a ballot to their home...

The largest group is the 28 states that allow for “no excuse,” or “no fault,” mail balloting. The procedure still adds one hurdle: Voters must affirmatively request a ballot...

The final group, 17 states, allows voters to obtain a mail ballot only for cause...

The irony in the president’s new offensive is that in many of the no-excuse states, Republicans have historically outpaced Democrats in organizing their supporters, especially older white voters, to vote by mail. In Arizona, for instance, Republicans outnumber Democrats on the state rolls of voters who have signed up to automatically receive a mail ballot. Arizonans over 50, a conservative-leaning bloc, also significantly outnumber those under 40. Voting by mail there has traditionally been “a Republican advantage...”

But generally speaking, Democrats have prioritized in-person early voting instead of mail balloting ...

Congressional Democrats want to set national rules for November’s election—to require all states to either permit no-excuse absentee voting, or mail ballots to every eligible voter if a national health emergency is declared close to Election Day. But given that such legislation has virtually no chance of clearing the Republican Senate—much less winning Trump’s signature—the partisan battles to come will play out primarily in the states and the courts. Early signs indicate that this struggle will unfold along three broad fronts...
Much more at The Atlantic.   And you can bet your bottom dollar that whichever side loses in the November elections, the other side will claim voter or ballot-counting fraud.  This is going to be such a wickedly messy year...

5 comments:

  1. And how does one vote by mail if the USPS is dealt a death blow as discussed in the post below this one?

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  2. Doesn't matter anyway. Your vote is useless. It will be handed to an elector, who can then vote however they want to with no consequences. That's exactly what happened four years ago. The people spoke. We don't want Trump. He was handed power anyway, because our system is fatally flawed.

    Don't misunderstand me; I intend to vote, and make my voice heard. I'm just not under any illusions that it will actually make any difference. Flying Spaghetti Monster help us all...

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  3. I'm hoping this anti-post office rhetoric is a flavor of the month. Post Offices provide a necessary service that we take for granted, like passport applications or rural mail service. Rural mail delivery is cost prohibitive for businesses and would likely disappear. I know they somehow plug into the military APO/FPO addresses and allow families to send letters to service members overseas. Plus, a government run Post Office provides security that a corporation can't. I'll put on my tin foil hat and imagine if China or Russia opened a delivery service in the US. Would you trust your absentee ballot, company documents, and addresses of the entire US population with that company? I am not saying the post office is perfect (or even secure), but letting the post office compete as a business is not the answer.

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    Replies
    1. No, I think this is real, anon, and not a transitory whim of the administration. There are powerful people who want control over the postal service.

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  4. this is not rocket science ... we have been voting for over 200 years and still cannot get it right

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