Week in Review 4-10-2020
The coronavirus is upending all aspects of our lives, including our elections. Nearly twenty states have postponed their primaries to safeguard their citizens' health. There is already concern about November's general election and how we will vote.
This week Wisconsin held their primary, despite intense efforts by the state's Governor to postpone the primary. Wisconsin's Republican-majority state Supreme Court ruled the election would go ahead as planned. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against extending the deadline for absentee ballots - effectively cutting many voters out of the process.
The GOP is using coronavirus as yet another tool to disenfranchise voters. Fear of getting sick, plus the potential for groups of people gathering at polling places, keeps voters home.
We can't even be assured that polling places will even be open. Election judges, who we count on to run orderly polling places, are generally older in age and of the highest risk if they contract coronavirus. In states that did not postpone their primaries, polling places were closed because election judges did not want to work, forcing longer lines at other locations - another danger.
Universal vote-by-mail is the only way to ensure safe and fair elections in November. However, the GOP sees anything that expands voting rights as a threat. The party has committed itself over the past decade to suppressing voter turnout with voter ID laws and other punitive measures.
Trump has complained that if there was a national expansion of early voting and voting by mail, "you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again."
Filling out a ballot at home also affords people more time to think about their vote. A researcher at Rice University found that that voters spent about three and a half minutes when they went to a voting booth, but took about two days to complete a ballot they had received at home.
Maybe that's the real issue. The GOP doesn't want voters to have to think about Trump. Maybe, just maybe, they won't vote for him.
Call Congress at 202-224-3121. Urge your Senators and Representative to enact and fund national vote by mail.
Safe voting matters.