Americans want to vote-by-mail:
A new survey conducted by a pollster used by the Trump campaign shows widespread support for the use of vote-by-mail in the 2020 elections. The poll showed that 76% of registered voters support giving all voters the option to vote-by-mail and providing postage-paid return envelopes for anyone who chooses to vote by absentee ballot, two recommendations that Stand Up Republic made previously. Poll after poll shows that the majority of Americans support vote-by-mail, at least for this year’s elections. It is time for Congress to get the message and appropriate funds to help states make the necessary changes to their elections to expand vote-by-mail for November.
Ohio’s nearly all-mail election:
Things were touch and go for Ohio’s primary. On March 17th, only hours before the polls were set to open, the election was postponed.Despite some early votes having already been cast, the decision was made to move Ohio’s primary to April 28th and to hold a nearly all-mail election. Ohio’s Republican Governor, Mike DeWine, Republican Secretary of State, Frank LaRose, and the Republican-held General Assembly all worked together to make the necessary adjustments to the election to ensure Ohioans were able to vote in a safe and secure manner during the coronavirus pandemic.
This was a big shift for Ohio. Even though Ohio already allows for no-excuse absentee voting, the majority of votes cast in the state are not normally by mail. This meant that the state had to cope with a large increase in mail-in ballot requests. The process was not without its hiccups. While some voters received their ballot within days of submitting their application, others applied multiple times and did not receive a ballot. Additionally, delays with the mail meant that some voters were at risk of not getting their ballot in time. That is why it is so important to have in-person polling places as a backup. Secretary of State LaRose said that voters were able to vote provisionally in-person if they were unable to complete a mail-in ballot or did not receive one in time. However, in-person voting was the exception, not the rule for Ohio’s primary.
Secretary of State LaRose said he was proud of how the elections were carried out, but he recognized that it was not perfect. “There are still things we need to improve about this process. I have been saying for some time, the right way to do this would have been to allow more time to carry it out.”
LaRose’s point about having more time to get this right is an important one and exactly the reason Congress should appropriate funding immediately to ensure states have enough time to make our elections in November as safe and secure as possible.
Voters in Kentucky can vote-by-mail:
Democratic Governor Andy Beshear and Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams came together to allow all registered voters to vote by absentee ballot in their upcoming June 23rd election. In addition to allowing voters to vote-by-mail, the State Board of Elections is working on ways to “safely conduct limited in-person voting and a possible drive-through voting option, so that those voters who cannot vote by mail can exercise their right to vote.”
It is important that as states move to expand mail-in voting as an option that they do not leave out any voters who may be unable to vote-by-mail. Just because we are in the midst of this pandemic does not mean that anyone should lose their opportunity to vote.
Democrats will push for vote-by-mail funding:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in order to protect “the life of our democracy” and “the life of our people” that Democrats will be pushing for vote-by-mail funding in the next spending package. Some, including the president, try to make vote-by-mail a partisan issue, but we see Republican governors, secretaries of state, legislatures, and voters supporting vote-by-mail. Congress must act in a bi-partisan way to provide the necessary funding to states to make vote-by-mail possible and secure ahead of the election in November.
Holding Safe Elections During COVID-19
For a more in-depth conversation about vote-by-mail and some of the latest updates, join us on May 6th at 4:00 pm ET for a virtual discussion on how we can hold safe elections during the coronavirus pandemic.