Voting by mail (Update: Trump calls for postponing election) (1 Viewer)

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Lapaz

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There is a lot of push-back from Trump on voting by mail, but most states allow it, and 1/3 allow it without any excuse. His rationale is that it will lead to vast fraud, but of course that isn't his real reason. His real reason is that he thinks it will be worse for conservatives, but studies have shown that states that have instituted much broader voting by mail haven't had any statistical changes in party voting.



Although, normally voting by mail doesn't affect party votes, I bet it might this year if we have another resurgence of Covid, because I think the right is much more apt to discount the virus than the left. I know that is why Trump is against it.

Whether you're left or right wing, expanding mail in votes is the right thing to do to reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus, to expand voter participation, and to make it easier for those that do show up to stay distant. It will also allow any people with susceptibilities to remain safer. I think voting by mail could be made extremely secure by having people vote using traditional postal mail, coupled with requiring a confirmation either by phone, email or text. If done by phone, then voters can provide confirmation that can include confirming their form number. If done by email or text, it can include a picture of their form, and then confirmation that that was their form. Rather than staffers individually calling people, this can be automated by having voters call the number, text the number, or email the address provided to them on their form. A website can even be created with a database of those that have voted, and perhaps a link to allow people to confirm their vote was correctly registered. For people without computers, a site can include a means to access the database over the phone with some confirmation information. These types of systems are used extensively by banks and other sites that need security, so I think they are mature enough to use. We could even use such a site for people to confirm their vote on the day of the election.
 
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Lapaz

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We already vote by mail. It's called absentee ballot. I don't see why there is any problem with voting by mail. But the ballots should need some kind of identification number along with them.
Yeah, but the proposal is to vastly increase vote by mail. If it vastly increases, I think we'll need to use technology to facilitate it, and keep it secure, because it can increase fraud without proper security. I don't think it is currently as secure as in person voting, but I think it can be just as, or even more secure, using technology.
 

N.O.Bronco

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Yeah, but the proposal is to vastly increase vote by mail. If it vastly increases, I think we'll need to use technology to facilitate it, and keep it secure, because it can increase fraud without proper security. I don't think it is currently as secure as in person voting, but I think it can be just as, or even more secure, using technology.
Is there significant evidence of this happening in practice though(since no state I know of is not attempting to put security measures in place)?

Voter fraud itself is insanely rare. Voter mail fraud even less so. Something to the tune of about 3 cases per state over every 20 years.

A few states like Oregon already do this(and have for over two decades) and their incident of fraud is incredibly low. Lower than the average and most, if not all, in-person states. In 20 years they have found two cases of voter mail fraud. Which comes out to be about .0000004 percent of the population.

I worry this is ascribing credibility to a side of an argument that hasnt sufficiently proven they have any.
 
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superchuck500

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Why are the MAGAs in my Facebook feed all of a sudden horrified at the prospect of vote by mail - especially in a pandemic? I have seen more than one person describe it as the most appalling attack on Democracy in US history.

:shrug: What’s the big deal? In the 2016 and 2018 elections, about 40% of ballots were cast by “alternative” means - most commonly by mail. Three states already, by 2018, had a full mail-in ballot system - and 27 states allow a mailed absentee ballot upon request without any showing of contingent circumstances.

In other words, in 30 states you can already vote by mail if you want to - and nearly 4 in 10 votes in the last two elections weren’t made at the precinct on Election Day, rather most were done by mail.

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Dragon

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A question since I'm not familiar with the voting laws in the different states.

Would it be allowed for someone to stand outside a voting place with banners and/or shout at those going into vote? (It isn't here - you need to stay far away from the places where people go to vote to ensure no voter intimidation takes place)
 

N.O.Bronco

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A question since I'm not familiar with the voting laws in the different states.

Would it be allowed for someone to stand outside a voting place with banners and/or shout at those going into vote? (It isn't here - you need to stay far away from the places where people go to vote to ensure no voter intimidation takes place)
There is a federal law and variances of state laws.

But in practice, application of those laws varies.

I’ve been in Texas off and on for a couple years, and I remember the Ted Cruz election being particularllay troublesome.

With a poll worker accosting voters and looking over their shoulders for hours before being removed. Another site with some people driving by or propped up with a bullhorn across the street calling people baby killers and espousing militia nonsense. The right famously made a mountain out of a mole hill with the NBPP‘s presence a few years back, but I would say overall intimidation is not a major issue in American politics anymore.

I think the greater barriers are accessibility, which I think vote-by-mail drastically helps alleviate.
 
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superchuck500

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A question since I'm not familiar with the voting laws in the different states.

Would it be allowed for someone to stand outside a voting place with banners and/or shout at those going into vote? (It isn't here - you need to stay far away from the places where people go to vote to ensure no voter intimidation takes place)
There are usually distance requirements - like 500 feet from the polling place or something like that.
 

Dragon

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There are usually distance requirements - like 500 feet from the polling place or something like that.
500 feet is not very far IMHO - especially if there is only one road into the place paving the way for demonstrators to harras those going into vote.

I can see why mail in votes would make some feel safer
 

N.O.Bronco

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500 feet is not very far IMHO - especially if there is only one road into the place paving the way for demonstrators to harras those going into vote.

I can see why mail in votes would make some feel safer
I could be wrong but I think it varies by state and in Texas it is actually just a 100 foot perimeter.
 

insidejob

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Republicans have been trying to make "voter fraud" a thing longer then Gretchen Wieners has been trying to make "fetch" happen. 2016 election had 4 documented cases of voter fraud: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...ts-cast-in-the-2016-election-were-fraudulent/

FOUR??? Tear the whole system down!

This fabrication of widespread voter fraud is the only excuse Trump had to explain why he lost the popular vote by 3,000,000 votes. Heck, he started it before the election so he'd have an excuse if he lost.
 
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Lapaz

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Is there significant evidence of this happening in practice though(since no state I know of is not attempting to put security measures in place)?

Voter fraud itself is insanely rare. Voter mail fraud even less so. Something to the tune of about 3 cases per state over every 20 years.

A few states like Oregon already do this(and have for over two decades) and their incident of fraud is incredibly low. Lower than the average and most, if not all, in-person states. In 20 years they have found two cases of voter mail fraud. Which comes out to be about .0000004 percent of the population.

I worry this is ascribing credibility to a side of an argument that hasnt sufficiently proven they have any.
I agree that it is rare, but it seems to be the weak link in our election process. It makes sense to harden the weakest link, especially given the interest in undermining our elections. The technology is there to obtain extra verification and being used for other purposes. This seems like an ideal application to improve integrity. We want to avoid harvesting as occurred in North Carolina, because people can simply learn from their mistakes to cover their tracks better.
 

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Rick Scott, former FL governor and now Senator says that nationwide voting by mail shouldn't be a problem as long as there are fraud protections. (Someone just made it onto Trump's shirt list...)


Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., warned on Sunday that there needs to be laws in place to mitigate against voter fraud if the country plans to use widespread mail-in balloting in this November’s presidential election.

“I think as long as you can do it safely, and as long as you can make sure there's no fraud, we ought to be able to do absentee ballots like we do it in Florida,” Scott said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “If you follow the law, and you enforce the law, and you set up the laws the right way you can do it.”

Absentee voting – and concerns over possible voter fraud that could accompany it – have come to the forefront of discussions over the upcoming presidential elections as concerns are being raised about the possibility of spreading the coronavirus at polling places.

President Trump has become a vocal advocate against mail-in voting – criticizing the process both during public appearances and on social media, and slamming states that are ramping up efforts to increase absentee voting."

“The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history,” Trump tweeted on Sunday. “People grab them from mailboxes, print thousands of forgeries and “force” people to sign. Also, forge names. Some absentee OK, when necessary. Trying to use Covid for this Scam!”

The president has also threatened to hold back federal dollars from Michigan and Nevada – two states that have ramped up their mail-in balloting process.
Trump's right. Fox News seems to not be campaigning nearly as hard for him as they did in 2016. Maybe they're tired of having their talking points written for them by the White House.
 
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reubenray

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I am a firm believer of voting in person and having your ID checked against the voter registration. But if the so called second wave hits at that time then mail voting may be the only option.
 

SystemShock

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Why are the MAGAs in my Facebook feed all of a sudden horrified at the prospect of vote by mail - especially in a pandemic? I have seen more than one person describe it as the most appalling attack on Democracy in US history.
Because they were told to be outraged and that it is the most appalling attack on Democracy in U.S. history. Didn't you learn the lesson from 2015? It's rigged! The Deep State rigged it!
 

Tony1Sainstfan

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Absentee voting is usually done by request from the voter and in some states it is illegal to just randomly send everyone a absentee ballot. I could see cases where fraud might be a big player in that. Here’s the bigger question for me. If it’s ok to go to Walmart or Home Depot then why can’t we figure out a way to vote in person and stick to the rules as is.
 

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