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Expanded voting methods stir up 2020 US election

American voters are skeptical about efforts to expand, and in some cases prevent the expansion, of early voting and vote-by-mail methods ahead of the 2020 US presidential election. (Sept. 14)

Video Transcript

BILL BARROW: We have these options being expanded, but there are court fights. There’s a sitting president casting doubt daily– without evidence– but casting doubt daily on the integrity of that process. How does that filter down to voters? What are you hearing on whether people believe that their vote will be counted honestly, or whether, you know, they believe it only if they go cast it in the traditional way even in a pandemic?

KAT STAFFORD: This is one instance where you see the folks on both the left and the right actually have some concerns. And what I mean by that is I’m focusing specifically on communities of color. You know, historically, there have been so many different things to try and deter them from heading to the polls.

NICK RICCARDI: Republicans traditionally are the ones who used the vote by mail in the United States. It is usually used by older voters, and that means Republicans. But this year, they’ve been much, much less likely to use it, and that’s alarmed some members of the GOP. President Trump’s campaign is trying to get its voters to vote by mail, even though the president is running down the process.

Because everybody who works on campaigns knows you get higher turnout when people can vote by mail. It’s easier, it’s more convenient, and they don’t have to deal with those lines that Kat talked about. One of the reasons that there’s a lot of push among Democrats to get people of color to vote by mail is because it makes them less susceptible to those choke points on Election Day, those hideous lines that really can depress turnout.

Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin– in each of those states they have not changed the laws to allow the elections officials to process ballots before Election Day. It’s such a huge problem. Anybody who does mail voting, be it Democratic or Republican, says that’s going to create an immense amount of chaos. Because the very day that these election officials are opening polls and dealing with thousands of voters coming to polling places, they’re also supposed to be opening all these envelopes, confirming the identities that people who sent them, and getting them where you can sort of run them through their scanners. So there’s a good chance that those Rust Belt states are not going to know what the result of the mail election is until well after election night.

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