Donald Trump and Republicans have been working overtime to squash vote by mail, even during a deadly pandemic that has killed more than 101,000 to date. Even as experts predict we will have another wave this fall and winter, one that might be even more deadly than the first, Donald Trump is doing everything he can to stop Americans from voting from the safety and comfort of their homes this November. I’m not even going to bother to link to his lies, which were so egregious and harmful to our democracy that even Twitter executives were forced to act, adding a warning to the tweet that linked to factual information over the president’s lies. That, of course, provoked Trump’s rage and he threatened to shut down the site, something he does not have the power to do.
Over and over again, Donald Trump has used Twitter and his White House podium to cry “fraud!” when it comes to vote by mail, despite there being no evidence of fraud. Oregon, California, Colorado, and other states have successfully rolled out vote-by-mail programs in recent years with great success. The bottom line is voting by mail increases voter turnout. In 2019, Rockville, Maryland, implemented a system to mail a ballot to every registered voter and almost doubled voter turnout for their municipal election that November!
Of course, Donald Trump voted by mail during both the 2018 midterm elections and the Republican primary in Florida this spring. When asked how he reconciles his opposition to regular Americans voting by mail with his own record, he said, “Because I’m allowed to. Well that’s called out of state — you know why I voted? Because I happened to be in the White House and I won’t be able to go to Florida and vote.” Okay, but he sure does get back to Florida plenty to play golf and collect membership fees at Mar-a-Lago. But, I digress.
He’s not the only person in the White House who has enjoyed voting by mail over the years. Turns out his newest White House spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany, is quite fond of voting by mail. The Tampa Bay Times reports McEnany has voted by mail 11 times in the last 10 years. Given the fact McEnany is 32 years old, it stands to reason she has primarily only voted by mail during her adult life.
When contacted by the Tampa Bay Times, McEnany deflected and instead attacked
”the media,” offering more inaccurate information.
In a statement emailed after the story published, McEnany said: “Absentee voting has the word absent in it for a reason. It means you’re absent from the jurisdiction or unable to vote in person. President Trump is against the Democrat plan to politicize the coronavirus and expand mass mail-in voting without a reason, which has a high propensity for voter fraud. This is a simple distinction that the media fails to grasp.”
However, Florida does not have absentee voting. Anyone can vote by mail here without a reason. The Times asked McEnany if Florida should change its law to restrict voting by mail to those unable to vote in person. The story will be updated if she responds.
To be clear, I think it is perfectly acceptable McEnany has voted by mail. We should all have the right to fully participate in this democracy and not a single person in America should have to stand in line for hours, missing work, enduring nasty weather or even endangering their very lives during a deadly pandemic. That’s the point. That’s the whole point! This is the year 2020 and we have the means and the ability to successfully implement vote by mail nationwide to protect our citizens and increase turnout.
And for what it’s worth, Republicans absolutely want Republican voters to vote by mail this year and every year. Even as Trump screams about voter fraud on Twitter, Republicans and the Trump campaign are sending emails and mailers to registered Republicans touting the convenience of voting from home, along with instructions on how to request a mail-in ballot.
When asked on Wednesday about voting by mail, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway said people are “proud” to have to stand in line to vote, noting that if they can stand in line for cupcakes at the famous Georgetown bakery, they surely can stand in line for hours to vote during a deadly pandemic.
Kellyanne: If you can stand in line for a cupcake, you can stand in line to vote pic.twitter.com/iTEvPZjNu7
— Peter Wade 🤦♂️ (@brooklynmutt) May 27, 2020
What are the odds Kellyanne Conway will be standing in line to vote this fall? Zero. Because standing in lines is reserved for the unimportant people. Anything and everything to discourage people from voting. That is their goal.
The only fraud happening in our system is the the one orchestrated nationwide by Republicans, the endless schemes and obstacles they put up to keep the electorate away from the ballot box. They are heavily invested in these schemes because they are the one and only way Republicans have any power.
If your state does not allow vote by mail for the upcoming elections in November, contact your state representatives and your secretary of state to demand they do so to protect the health of our citizens and the health of our democracy.