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Chuck Schumer Nancy Pelosi (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has gone on record saying that Democrats will push for a nationwide vote-by-mail provision in the next Coronavirus relief package Congress puts out.

“In this next bill, we will be supporting vote by mail in a very important way — we think it’s a health issue at this point,” Pelosi told MSNBC.

The vote-by-mail provision is largely being touted as an effort to combat any Coronavirus related public health issues that may pop up before the 2020 Presidential Election that make it difficult for voting to be done in person. No doubt, however, many vote-by-mail proponents also see it as a way to increase voter turnout and make elections easier for voters to participate in from here forward.

President Donald Trump has already come out against vote-by-mail, tweeting, “Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to statewide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”

So what’s the deal? Is vote-by-mail a Democrat ploy to encourage immigrants to murder postal workers, steal ballots, and get a transexual communist elected? Or does opposition to vote-by-mail make you a vote-suppressing neo-fascist white supremacist who’ll be at the head of the line to apply for a job manning a guard tower at the concentration camps Trump plans on building for [insert protected group(s)] after he wins the title ‘President for Life’ in 2020?

Mostly neither? It’s really just a way to make our democracy more democratic — unless you hate freedom because you’re a libtard/boomer/commie/nazi.

Vote-by-mail should be a thing in the United States. For starters, most voters support it according to the Pew Research Center.

Broad support for allowing voting by mail, automatic voting registration; mixed support for other proposals

Even a majority of Republicans support vote by mail, either somewhat or strongly so.

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Sharp rise in Democratic support for conducting all elections by mail

Also, the majority of people who live in states that already have widespread vote-by-mail — including the majority of Republicans in those states — favor vote-by-mail.

Adults in states with higher rates of mail-in voting in 2018 more supportive of vote-by-mail expansion

There are, however, are several valid concerns that only the most desperately in need of our uniquely terrible, modern version of moral validation by way of publicly demonstrating ‘socially correct’ political groupthink would dismiss out of hand.

Most of those concerns essentially boil down to the security of the election and voter fraud. (After all, if Russia can get whoever they want elected into the White House by posting your uncle’s idea of dank memes to Facebook then messing with an American election must not be that hard. So we should probably take extra to care to make sure everything is secure.)

For vote-by-mail to work, ballot harvesting — the collecting and submitting of mail-in voter ballots by volunteers or workers, including volunteers directly affiliated with and organized by political groups — has to be illegal. The only people who should be collecting vote-by-mail ballots should be postal workers or some sort of specific, government-appointed election worker or volunteer. No third parties or even well-meaning day-of volunteers allowed.

I don’t trust MAGA Randy or ‘Eat the Rich’ Ethan to be any more honest about volunteer-collecting strangers’ ballots than you do, or should.

The other security questions about tampering are, generally, well above my paygrade but suffice it to say that stuff should be worked out, re-worked out, and then triple checked by a legion of OCD bureaucrats and analysts before we institute any vote-by-mail measures.

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Security is the most important thing here. Yes, there is a strong argument to be made that denying vote-by-mail for no good reason unnecessarily hampers Americans’ abilities to exercise their right to vote and their freedom of expression. But if an election’s security and legitimacy becomes compromised because we rushed to institute vote-by-mail and left ourselves exposed to foreign or domestic meddling, or some other flaws in a new system we didn’t work hard enough to ensure worked properly, then we all will have lost those rights and the argument becomes moot.

(We also lose our precious freedom of expression if, you know, the country literally isn’t able to hold a legitimate election because we’re all locked down again.)

The claim that vote-by-mail disproportionately favors Democrats over Republicans also probably isn’t true. Still, that argument — whether it’s legit, half true, or a total load — is one is going to be a real sticking point for a lot of people.

Here’s why it shouldn’t be.

1. As already mentioned, it’s probably not true.

Also, by far the biggest advantage Democrats could gain from mail-in voting would be a massive increase in youth turnout. Can we really ever count on that happening? Instead of overestimating how much vote-by-mail might help Democrats what we should be doing is not underestimating just how lazy the collective youth vote truly is. Just ask Bernie Sanders. Until the youth vote proves it can consistently turn out it’s pretty insane, at this point in our electoral history, to assume that it ever will.

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2. I’m an independent and I vote for both Democratic and Republican candidates. My ballot has never been straight ticket, never will be straight ticket, and the last thing I ever want to see is one party with a total stranglehold on our government.

All of that is to say that I understand the concern about mail-in voting overwhelmingly favoring one party over the other.

I’m also a writer. As such, I get pretty livid — or, if you happen disagree with my anger, then you could say I turn into a butthurt snowflake, I guess — about the sort of social censorship of art and comedy that has become rampant, but is thankfully waning, I think, in American culture. About “PC culture” and “social justice warriors”, if you will. It’s an anti-free speech attitude. It’s anti-First Amendment. It’s anti-expression.

Voting is our most important form of expression as Americans. Easily. So with that in mind, I can’t really, in good conscience, stomp my feet about one group’s petulant, weakly justified anti-expressionism and then turn around and do the exact same thing.

Assuming systemic and security issues are worked out, there’s no good reason not to support, or at least accept, vote-by-mail.

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Rob Fox About the author:
Rob Fox is a writer, comedian, and producer based in Austin, TX. God made him left-handed to hide his own averageness from him.
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