Tag Archives: mail-in voting

Sowing fear of democracy

Donald J. Trump’s fear campaign is kicking into high gear.

It is despicable, deplorable and disgraceful. All at once. There are many more angry adjectives to attach to it.

He wants us to believe that mail-in voting is inherently corrupt. He floated the bizarre and unlawful idea that he would seek to delay the Nov. 3 election, claiming he wants to ensure a corruption-free balloting process. He can’t do anything of the sort and congressional leaders pushed back … hard! Trump has backed off that idiocy.

However, he has sown the seeds of doubt in the minds of many Americans. This is a preposterous and dangerous affront to an electoral system that works well in the states that employ it. Voter fraud? It’s infinitesimal! Indeed, it can be argued that mail-in voting is more secure than the conventional method.

That won’t stop Trump from seeking to block efforts to encourage voting in this Pandemic Era. He doesn’t give a rat’s a** about anything other than assuring his re-election.

He is denigrating the work that state and local officials do to protect against voter fraud. Why in the name of electoral integrity can’t we solicit the advice and counsel of state election officials on how they conduct all-mail voting? Of course we can! Donald Trump, though, will continue to hammer home the idea that this method of voting is somehow corrupt.

It … isn’t!

The Demagogue in Chief must cease his disgraceful campaign of fear. Sadly, he won’t.

Voter fraud issue is, um, a fraud

I want to give a serious full-throated shout-out to The Hill newspaper for providing a marvelous bit of perspective on the phony issue of voter fraud as it concerns the possibility of an all-mail vote for president of the United States later this year.

To sum it up: The fraudulent vote issue is a fraudulent allegation.

There you have it.

The Hill takes pains to point out that mail fraud is the rarest of political events in the United States. Moreover, it points out that in the state that began all-mail voting, the instance of mail fraud is even more rare than it is nationally. Oregon, the state where I was born, was the first of our states to conduct all-mail voting and has enjoyed great success in protecting the sanctity of this cherished right of citizenship.

Read The Hill story here.

Voter fraud has become a red herring, a canard, a phony excuse to keep more Americans from voting. Republicans are leading the amen chorus seeking to persuade Americans that mail-in voting invites fraudulent ballot-casting. The leader of that chorus is Donald John “Stable Genius in Chief” Trump, who of course tosses out that demagogic rhetoric without a scintilla of evidence to back it up.

All-mail voting is not the way I want to cast my ballot, but if the coronavirus is going to suppress the balloting because Americans fear potential deadly exposure to the virus, then all-mail voting is reasonable — and secure — alternative.

The voter fraud demagoguery needs to be called out for what it is: a bald-faced effort to suppress voter turnout as a dodge to protect certain politicians’ from losing their cherished perches of power.

More, not fewer, voters make democracy work

One of the obligatory editorials I would write back when I was a working stiff involved seeking to get voters to get off their duffs and do their duty as citizens of this great country.

Their duty involved voting. One of the arguments I sought to make at three newspapers where I wrote these opinion pieces was a straightforward one: More voters, not fewer of them, create a stronger democratic system.

Thus, when I hear arguments from mostly Republican officials who want to suppress voter participation, why, it just infuriates me to no end.

GOP officials in Texas and elsewhere are flinging the red herring about “rampant voter fraud” by opposing mail-in voting. What they really intend to do is to prevent voters from casting ballots particularly in this frightening moment … with the world reeling from the global coronavirus pandemic.

This bit of idiocy even came from the nation’s No. 1 Republican, Donald “Imbecile in Chief” Trump, who said mail-in voting — in addition to promoting voter fraud — would doom Republicans from getting elected. Keep that in mind. I’ll get back to that.

A federal judge recently ruled that Texans who fear coming down with the COVID-19 virus by voting in person on Election Day are free to cast their ballots by mail; the U.S. Fifth Circuit of Appeals, though, put the brakes on the judge’s ruling. So we’re now back to Square One.

Republicans in Texans, led by Attorney General Ken Paxton, appear more frightened at the prospect of more voters taking part in an all-mail election. Paxton hides behind the bogus notion of “widespread voter fraud.” The five states that conduct their elections by mail-in voting report no evidence of rampant fraudulent voting. Is there some voter fraud? Sure. There also is fraudulent voting when citizens cast their ballots on Election Day — in polling booths.

Back to my fundamental point. My argument about more voters making for a stronger democratic system than fewer of them holds up now as it has all along.

Paltry voter turnouts undeniably hand more power to fewer people. They deny consensus decisions. They result in voters ceding the power granted to them in the U.S. Constitution to someone who might feel differently about issues and candidates.

Thus, if we are facing an ongoing global pandemic, I want there to be a mail-in option to ensure greater voter turnout. I want a stronger, not a weaker, democratic system.

Partisan justice is at work

Judicial rulings aren’t supposed to be tainted by partisan considerations, which is what the founders sought when they created an independent judicial branch of the federal government.

Then we have states such as Texas, which elects its judges on partisan ballots. You have to be either a Democrat or a Republican to run for a spot on any court in the state. That includes the state’s highest civil court of appeals, the Supreme Court.

So what does the all-GOP Supreme Court do? It halts any expansion of mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic. Texas Democrats want to ensure that more — not fewer — Texans vote in this year’s presidential election. They want the state to institute mail-in voting to allow greater participation among the state’s estimated 15 million eligible voters.

That’s a non-starter for Texas Republicans — and apparently their allies on the Texas Supreme Court. They have reeled in the reddest of herrings by alleging that all-mail-in voting invites rampant voter fraud.

No. It does nothing of the sort … provided that county election officials do their due diligence to ensure that every ballot cast is done by a legitimately registered voter.

My version of political perfection would rely solely on Election Day balloting. However, we cannot have everything we want. The pandemic has made polling-place voting a potentially life-threatening event, which is why mail-in voting is beginning to appeal more to me.

As for voter fraud, well, that is the serious non-starter. Five states have all-mail voting already. They all report without reservation that the incidents of fraudulent voting are rare. There is no such thing in any of those states of “rampant” voter fraud. Why is that? Because election officials take their tasks seriously and they all swear an oath to protect the sanctity of their political institutions.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argues that voter fraud is a major concern for him. Baloney! Paxton’s major concern is whether he is doing the bidding of Donald Trump, who has led the phony chorus of claims of voter fraud. He has actually griped out loud that mail-in voting would doom Republicans’ electoral chances in the future. Aww. Cry me a river.

“Among the State’s highest and most profound interests is protecting the integrity of its elections,” Paxton wrote. “To advance that interest, the … Legislature requires almost every voter to vote by personal appearance at a designated polling place, where trained poll workers confirm the voter’s identity before issuing him a ballot.”

I get that. Really. I do. However, mail-in voting as it has been done in a handful of states is just as secure as it is when it’s done the old-fashioned way.

The Supreme Court is going to hear oral arguments next week. Then it will make a final decision. Anyone want to bet how the all-GOP Supreme Court is going to go on that one?

Still prefer old-fashioned voting method, unless danger lurks

Readers of this blog know already that I prefer voting in person on Election Day, standing in a voting booth, selecting my candidates in secret.

That is how I would like to vote for president of the United States on Nov. 3. However, circumstances — and you know what they are — might force all of us to change the way we cast our ballots.

I am OK with that change, if the coronavirus pandemic isn’t sufficiently put down in time for Election Day.

A Texas judge has issued a ruling that greatly enhances absentee and mail-in voting in Texas. The ruling’s most direct impact will be on the July primary runoff contests that were pushed back from late May. That damn pandemic got in the way of our runoffs, too.

Looking ahead to the big day in November, it remains my fervent hope that federal election officials are seeking ways to allow all Americans the chance to vote by mail if circumstances demand it. And — of course — Donald John “Liar in Chief” Trump is railing against voting by mail.

He has leveled a specious argument that is similar to what he alleged after the 2016 election, that mail-in voting invites illegal voting by individuals. Again, just as he always does, Trump has leveled a charge without a scintilla of evidence to back it up. Do you recall how he alleged that 5 million undocumented immigrants cast votes in California enabling Hillary Rodham Clinton to roll up her impressive popular vote margin in 2016 over Trump? He never produced a shred of proof for any of that.

He’s at it again, saying a system that has worked well in the states that use mail-in voting is corrupt and that the results aren’t to be believed.

There is ample, overwhelming evidence to suggest that “widespread voter fraud” in this country is a phony argument. Yes, some ballots are cast illegally, but they comprise a teeny-tiny fraction of all the ballots cast.

Donald Trump likely is going to face Joe Biden later this year. The pandemic might preclude an election that we’ve always known it, resulting in a nationwide mail-in balloting system. We need not reinvent the wheel here.

Election experts in several states can help develop a mail-in national election system that is secure, that can be protected against potential fraud.

I am one American who prefers the pageantry of Election Day. I want to be able to cast my ballot the way I always have done when voting for president. If we cannot do so safely, without endangering our health, then I am all in on a mail-in system.

We must not knuckle under to the demagogic trash spewed by a president who — and this only is just my view — is sounding like someone who is petrified at the result a mail-in presidential election would produce.

Donald Trump: phony-baloney expert

It’s hard to make a determinative conclusion on this matter, but I have long been certain that Donald J. Trump is the prime No. 1 expert on dishing out phony-baloney nonsense.

He said this week that he opposes mail-in voting because it is fraught with corruption. The nation’s current president said mail-in voting invites illegal balloting, that those who aren’t registered to vote are able to do so.

Oh, and as he told his pals at Fox News, mail-in voting would deny the election of Republicans. Oh! That’s it! He said that the greater access to voting for Americans the lesser the chance of electing Republicans.

What an absolute crock of manure!

We face an election this November. We also are in the middle of a huge fight against coronavirus, which has killed more than 14,000 Americans. It is highly infectious and it well might compel this nation to fundamentally change the way we vote for president.

To be absolutely clear, I prefer the old-fashioned method of going to the polling place and casting my ballot while standing in a booth. I dislike early voting. I like the pageantry of Election Day.

But … I am not willing to risk my health or the health of others in the midst of this life-and-death struggle against COVID-19. So, I am willing to take part in a mail-in election.

Several states vote by mail already. Their elections are secure. The votes are calculated accurately. Registered voters get their ballots mailed to them at their homes. They are able to mark their ballots and send them back to the appropriate election agency.

It also increases voter turnout. Isn’t that what we want? Don’t we prefer that more citizens take part in this process than fewer of them? Isn’t that the essence of a democratic society? Not in Donald Trump’s view of the world.

The president wants to restrict voter turnout, sounding to my way of thinking that he endorses what they call “voter suppression.” What’s more, he is dipping into his treasure trove of “big lies” to persuade his base that mail-in voting is corrupt.

It isn’t any more suspect than what we have witnessed in our lifetimes already. Hmm. The 2000 presidential election and the Florida recount fiasco comes to mind.

Donald Trump’s shameless dishing out of baloney is on full display.

Despicable.

Obama not calling for mandatory voting

White House press flack Josh Earnest today sought to explain that President Obama isn’t calling for a specific law to require Americans to vote.

Hey, I get what the president said. He was making some kind of suggestion that it might be a good idea. I disagree with the notion of mandatory voting, as it seems vaguely un-American to tell us we must do something.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/236312-obama-doesnt-want-to-mandate-voting

Actually, this is a healthy discussion to have.

Two states, Oregon and Washington, allow voters to mail in their ballots. Voter turnout in those two states is far greater than it is in, oh, Texas. It’s great that voters can cast their ballots in the comfort of their living rooms.

My preference? I still like the old-fashioned way of voting. Wait until Election Day, go to the polling place and stand in line with other voters, pass the time away waiting for a voting booth to become available. I dislike early voting and I do so only when I’m going to be away on Election Day.

I am of an old-school mentality that prefers — for lack of a better term — the pageantry of voting.

Early voting hasn’t boosted turnout; it’s just allowed more people to vote early. It reduces the crush at the polling places on Election Day.

One idea worth considering is making presidential — and midterm — Election Day a national holiday. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t do anything that would divert attention from the task of voting. Perhaps have the event occur on a Saturday.

I heard the president clearly in Cleveland and understood the context of his remarks.

Voter turnout stinks. Big money is too pervasive. However, let’s not require Americans to vote.