Twenty or so years ago, in California, I signed up for permanent absentee voting. A few years ago I moved back to Oregon, where all voting is by mail and has been since 1998. The Elections Division notify me by e-mail and text message when my ballot has been sent to me and again when they have received and counted my vote. This year, I even received a postage-paid return envelope with my ballot.
In these days of COVID-19 upheaval, the governor of California issued an executive order that all registered voters be sent mail-in ballots for the November election. The state will still have in-person polling places open, although they expect difficulty in staffing. The White House is outraged, stating that people cheat with vote-by-mail ballots and that it is a “corrupt” practice. The president’s re-election campaign sputtered that it is a “wide open opportunity for fraud.” A bedrock Republican principle is that voting fraud by Democrats is rampant. (As with the Republican belief that lowering taxes increases revenue, just because it’s never happened doesn’t mean it’s not true.)
The current occupant of the White House voted by mail. So did Melania. (Hers was not counted in the last election. She mailed it late.) The vice-president votes by mail. (Pence listed his address as the governor’s residence, where he hasn’t lived since 2017.) Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross mails in his ballots. Economic advisor Larry Kudlow and HHS Secretary Alex Azar also vote by mail. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump cast their ballots by mail, too.
What’s fine for them is not OK for us. The problem is that the more people who vote, the worse Republicans do. In an inadvertent moment of candor the coWH said of mail-in voting, “… that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
In actual fact, the only documented case of organized voter fraud was in North Carolina, committed by — surprise! — Republicans. (Technically, it was election fraud.) The state had to have a do-over election for the Ninth Congressional District.
For the upcoming, and all future elections, Republicans will step up their efforts to make it more difficult for citizens to vote.