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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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The United States deserves a “robust” level of voter participation and vote-by-mail could help accomplish that. Meanwhile, although Donald Trump complains that mail-in ballots invite fraud favoring Democrats, Utah has used the system for years while regularly electing Republicans.
Those were conclusions from MSNBC host Joy Reid and on-air panel of guests.
“… We want to have robust participation, robust turnout. That is what healthy democracies do and vote by mail allows us to do it,” said Nse Ufot, who runs a civic engagement organization that has registered more than 400,000 people to vote in Georgia since 2014.
“Indeed. Just to your very point, the Wisconsin State Journal reports that 71 people who went to the polls on April 7th contracted COVID-19 and the tie to election is uncertain but that is a data point we should note,” Reid replied. “Here is a tweet by Donald Trump attacking mail-in ballots, which is of course what he used to vote in Florida: ‘The United States cannot have all mail-in ballots. It will be the greatest rigged election in history. People grab them from mail boxes, print thousands of forgeries and force people to sign. Also, forge names. Some absentee okay when necessary. Trying to use COVID for this scam!’
“I mean, none of that is true, Michael Steele. Here’s the support for mail-in voting. Support 65 percent, 32 percent oppose it. That’s the USA Today/Suffolk University poll. Is the Republican Party going to have to change the tune on this? Because most Americans not only support the idea of mail-in, Utah uses all mail-in voting and seem to elect Republicans just fine,” Reid added. “So what is the objection other than lots of people will vote and that doesn’t help the party?”
Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, answered, “First, Utah is moving to that this year. This is the first year they have gone full all-in on mail-in balloting. Joy, in the last 20 years, there have been exactly, wait for it, 100 — less than 150 cases regarding fraud through mail-in ballots in 20 years, less than 150 cases.
“The president of the United States just voted in the Florida primary by absentee ballot, will likely vote in the November election by absentee ballot. This idea that this is a fraud, that this is a form of abuse, that tweet is projection. It is fear,” Steele added. “My case has always been made, as a county, state and national chairman, when you make your case to the American people, you never have to worry about how they vote. You should owe for them every opportunity to go to the ballot box. So if your case is right, Mr. President, what you are afraid of?””
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