For the past few months of 2020, Americans have increasingly become aware of what may be one of the biggest threats our nation has ever seen. But as the coronavirus rips through our nation, state by state, there may be a bigger threat to fear for at least some of the nation. Nancy Pelosi brought up this “threat” and the people it may exterminate immediately jumped to try to discredit her and squelch that potential threat to them.
Pelosi said that America needs to move toward a “vote by mail” system to give citizens a safe way to elect their lawmakers while the coronavirus makes it dangerous to congregate.
“In terms of the elections, I think we’ll probably be moving to vote by mail. That’s why we wanted to have more resources in this third bill that just was signed by the president, to get those resources to the states to facilitate the reality of life: that we are going to have to have more vote by mail.”
Pelosi offered those remarks in an interview with MSNBC but Trump had already dismissed the idea as “crazy” — but admitting the vote by mail system, that some states have operated successfully for some time now, is really a threat to just the Republican Party.
“You’d never have a Republican elected in this country again,” Trump said on Fox News.
Indeed, the “threat” that Pelosi mentioned is only a threat to GOP power. Of course, Trump and other Republicans will try to muddy waters and dismiss such ideas as being some sort of catalyst for fraud, even though the opposite is true. They will try to put the nation in fear of a system that actually is for their benefit as a citizen.
According to Vox, who looked into the matter in 2017:
There’s no need to run two separate election processes, one for in-person votes and another for mail-in absentee votes. Voter rolls are much easier to maintain and verify. Every vote leaves a paper trail. There are no issues with forms of ID, difficulties with access, or opportunities for voter intimidation.
And there have never been any proven cases, or even serious allegations, of substantial voter fraud in UVBM states, mainly because the system renders it almost impossible.
Phil Keisling, the former Oregon secretary of state who introduced the system, summarized the facts that Republicans fear like this:
Mail-based voting systems today are far less risky than most polling place elections, precisely because they distribute ballots (and electoral risk) in such a decentralized way. To have any reasonable chance of success, an organized effort to defraud a mail-based system and its safeguards must involve hundreds (if not thousands) of separate acts, all of them individual felonies, that must both occur and go undetected to have any chance of success.
Contrast that to the risks inherent in polling place elections that increasingly rely on direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting systems and proprietary software systems that both record and tally votes. A single successful software hack potentially could affect thousands of votes. It’s the difference between “retail” fraud and “wholesale” fraud.
But why is this a threat to the GOP? It isn’t hard to speculate that increased voter turnout via a mail-in system would help Democrats and hurt Republicans, because it almost always does.
Also, we can see that the GOP already knows this by looking at their history over the past couple of decades, especially in the last decade. Republicans have systematically cut voter polling places in districts where more Democrats live. They have had efforts to purge voter rolls, in more Democratic areas predominantly. They have tried to shorten early voting days and the times that polls can remain open.
Of course, when those things happen, the votes of the Republican-dominated districts carry more influence, and they hold onto power, despite a shifting electorate.
With a mail-in system, it doesn’t matter if the polling place that was 2 miles away is now 20. It doesn’t matter that the polls are only open when poorer workers are much more likely to be unable to make it there. With a mail-in system, all are equal and all can vote with the same ease.
It is obvious that Trump and other GOPers are in fear and threatened with a system that they can’t manipulate or use suppression tactics to better control outcomes. Not only because of the coronavirus, but the mail-in system should also be implemented nation-wide. It increases participation, it is less vulnerable to fraud, especially “wholesale” fraud, and is what our nation needs today and going forward.
But wait, there’s more …
Some folks are afraid that Trump will “cancel the election” of 2020 in order to hold power. Unfortunately for Trump, we still do have a Constitution. The Constitution is quite clear about what happens on January 20, 2021. The terms of the President and Vice-President expire. In that scenario, the new President would be Nancy Pelosi, according to the Constitution.
Remember that the POTUS election in 2020 or any other year is not a federal election, but rather the states all hold their own election. Let us, for the sake of argument, say that some of the more red-state governors feared a mail-in election in 2020 and refused to do it that way. At the same time, more progressive states would probably do the mail-in method. Pelosi will almost certainly win her contest leaving her in place as Speaker of the House, who is next in line to assume the Presidency if enough states don’t participate and a 270 electoral vote majority cannot be reached.
Now, does anyone think that those red states will simply do nothing as their most feared nemesis in Pelosi takes the White House? Of course. they will not sit idly by. So, if it is the only safe alternative, expect even those red-state governors to sign on to mail-in voting despite the rhetoric out there today to try to discredit a mail-in system.
So fear not, the 2020 POTUS election will happen one way or the other. Republicans fear Nancy Pelosi more than they fear any virus, or even a mail-in voting system that they know will hurt them overall.