President Donald Trump is trying to convince Republicans to oppose expanded vote-by-mail options during the COVID-19 pandemic, even though it is an effective, traditionally bipartisan and popular method of voting, according to the Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund.
In a new release, CAP said that voting by mail does not disadvantage either major political party and is extremely popular with Americans across the political spectrum.
In fact, many Republican state officials disagree with Trump and are taking steps to expand voting by mail to help protect the health and safety of their voters, according to CAP.
States that traditionally elect Republicans, such as West Virginia, Idaho and South Dakota, are loosening requirements and proactively mailing registered voters absentee ballot request forms, instead of requiring voters to request an absentee ballot.
Other states where top Republican officeholders recently either voiced support for voting by mail or approved new rules to make it easier include Ohio, Georgia, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Trump’s attempts to reduce support for vote-by-mail are not only dangerous, but they are also an unabashed partisan ploy to suppress voters who may not vote for his reelection.
At this point, CAP officials stated that all 50 states and Washington, D.C., allow some form of voting by mail, with five states voting almost exclusively by mail.
“These states include the traditionally Republican Utah, as well as the perennial battleground state of Colorado. And voting by mail is trusted among military personnel serving overseas: Hundreds of thousands of them cast mail-in ballots in each election,” CAP officials wrote.
Recent public polls show strong support across party lines for voting by mail during the pandemic, according to CAP.
An April 2020 public poll found that 72 percent of all American adults support voting by mail. This included 65 percent of Republicans, a sizable majority, according to CAP.
Other recent national polls found Republican or conservative support for mail-in balloting at 58 percent and 54 percent, while a poll of Ohio voters showed 67 percent Republican support.
“Americans have the constitutional right to vote, and the health of the U.S. republic depends on people meaningfully exercising this right,” Michael Sozan, a senior fellow on the Democracy and Government Reform team at the action fund.
“People of color and other underrepresented communities continue to fight against efforts to suppress their votes,” Sozan wrote. “Attempts to disenfranchise voters — no matter their political affiliation — have no place in American democracy, especially during the ongoing pandemic. Instead, Trump should abandon his inexcusable partisan rhetoric and push for robust federal funding so that every American has the option to vote safely by mail.”
To view the full study, go to www.americanprogressaction.org.