22 May 2020 Mail-in Voting Is NOT the Solution, by Christopher Arps
The Coronavirus pandemic has completely upended the 2020 election cycle in a myriad of ways. The novel virus and social distancing have made traditional campaigning with handshakes, baby-kissing, and massive indoor and outdoor rallies practically impossible.
As a result, the presidential campaigns have become virtual, especially in the case of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. COVID19 has relegated the Biden campaign to doing media interviews and townhalls events from his makeshift basement studio in Wilmington, Delaware.
President Trump has, of course, suspended the huge rallies he made famous during his 2016 campaign, but because he is the President and has the enormous bully pulpit of the presidency, he can still garner positive attention for his reelection while still performing his duties as president.
Coronavirus is also threatening how we’ve voted for our president since the founding of our republic which traditionally has been in person at your local polling location. That may change in 2020.
Michigan and many other states are proposing mail-in voting for those voters in their states who fear they could contract the coronavirus while at their polling location. On Tuesday, a Texas judge ruled that Texas could join those other states:
District Judge Fred Biery ruled that the “disability” provision in the state’s vote-by-mail election code applies to all registered voters who “lack immunity from Covid-19 and fear infection at polling places.”
Texas’ election code defines “disability” as “a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place on election day without a likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring the voter’s health.”
Voting fraud and the disenfranchisement of Black Americans at the voting booth is a major concern for Project 21. So much so that we included it in our groundbreaking “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America,” under the header of “Restoring the Right of Self-Determination of Black America:
Today, black citizens are still being thwarted in exercising their right to determine or decide the policies they will live by – only now it is being done through less direct, more subtle schemes to dilute their vote.
When illegals and felons vote, when identity thieves cast votes of registered voters or cast them on behalf of people long deceased, the votes of legitimate voters are diluted or diminished in ways similar to those of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The fears of contracting COVID 19 at polling locations are legitimate and every precaution must be taken to ensure a voter’s safety. But mail-in voting is fraught with potential fraud.
According to these election experts, here are three potential problems with mail-in voting this election cycle:
- “Because the ballot is cast outside the public eye, the opportunities for coercion and voter impersonation are greater. Coercion by family members, employers, union leaders, religious leaders, or others might occur.” – National Conference of State Legislatures
- “Voter registration rolls are notoriously inaccurate, containing names of voters who are deceased, have moved, or otherwise have become ineligible. In 2018, California was sued over maintaining 1.5 million inactive voter files.” – CATO Institute, JW v. Logan Settlement
- “Even many scholars who argue that fraud is generally rare agree that fraud with voting by mail seems to be more frequent than with in-person voting.” – MIT Election Data and Science Lab
In this current environment where our society is seriously contemplating changing temporarily (or maybe permanently) how we cast our ballots through mail-in balloting, Project 21’s recommendations seem today almost prescient:
- Requiring proof of identity to cast ballots.
- Requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote.
- Requiring states to purge election rolls on a regular basis to remove people who are deceased or have moved to other jurisdictions.
- Requiring states to purge election rolls of registered voters who have not cast ballots in six years.
- Prohibiting the practice of mailing ballots to those who have not requested them.
Requiring proof of identity with a state-issued ID or a military ID to vote almost seems like a no brainer. Unfortunately, there are those on the Left who vociferously fight against such simple, common-sense measures to ensure the integrity of our elections.
“They’re pushing laws designed to change election outcomes by reducing voting, repressing turnout and turning the clock back to the days of Jim Crow. This is the exact opposite of where our country needs to go.” — Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)
“We are witnessing a concerted effort to place new obstacles in front of minorities, low-income families and young people who seek to exercise their right to vote. A poll tax by another name would smell as vile.” — Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
“Your water fountain is voter ID.” — Rev. Al Sharpton
“These laws are the new Jim Crow laws of our times.” —Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin (D)
And then there is common sense:
“I don’t think it is disenfranchisement. I think that African-Americans that are citizens of [the] United States of America can get out and vote. Four years ago we saw them vote in numbers that had never been seen before.” — Former Rep. Allen West.
It is virtually impossible to be a productive member of society without valid identification. You can’t cash a check, get on an airplane, rent a car, or even get a COVID 19 test without a state-issued ID.
We must as conscientious citizens oppose mail-in voting, not because we oppose every citizen’s right to their vote, but because mail-in voting is ripe for fraud and undermines the integrity of the voting system.
Christopher Arps is a member of the Project 21 black leadership network and a managing partner with the public affairs and communications consulting firm Red Tail Strategies, LLC. He’s the cofounder of Move-On-Up.org and President of Americans for Citizen Voting (ACV), a 501(c)(4) dedicated to the belief that only citizens should vote in our local, state and national elections. He’s a guest host and contributor on his local conservative radio station (KFTK 97.1) in St. Louis, Mo. Follow him on Twitter at @chris_arps. This was originally published by RedState.
New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.