Pro-Biden Super PAC Launches $24 Million Effort to Boost Vote-by-Mail in Swing States

In this May 17, 2016, file photo, ballots are prepared for counting at Multnomah County election headquarters in Portland, Ore. The coronavirus has knocked presidential primaries back several weeks as officials worry about voters crowding into polling places. If the disease remains a hazard in November, Democrats say there's only …
Don Ryan/AP Photo

A leading Super PAC working to elect former Vice President Joe Biden is launching a multi-million dollar initiative to boost vote-by-mail participation among communities of color in swing states this November.

Priorities USA Action, the largest Super PAC aligned with the Democrat Party, announced on Wednesday it would invest $24 million in mobilizing black and Latino voters to vote-by-mail ahead of the upcoming general election. The expenditure comes on top of an already announced $32 million effort to register new voters and bring legal challenges to election laws in swing states across the country.

“In addition to our $32 million voting rights effort, we are investing $24 million in mobilization, vote-by-mail, and persuasion campaigns aimed at Black and Latino Voters in [six] states,” Guy Cecil, the PAC’s chairman, wrote on social media when announcing the new investment.

Priorities USA’s vote-by-mail initiative will target six battleground states–Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida–considered pivotal to Biden’s hopes of taking the White House. It comes as vote-by-mail is increasingly becoming a dividing line between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats favor the practice, arguing that it would be a safer alternative to in-person voting amid the concerns over the coronavirus. Republicans, on the other hand, claim widespread vote-by-mail could interfere with the integrity of the elections process.

Apart from voter fraud, there are also concerns among some Republicans that vote-by-mail could delay the reporting of results well after Election Day, creating political instability. Wisconsin recently indicated the possibility of this scenario when it took more than a month to count at least 30,000 outstanding mail-in ballots from the state’s April 3 Democrat presidential primary. Given such concerns, Republicans and conservative-leaning groups have begun suing state election officials for unilaterally imposing vote-by-mail.

Biden, who has publicly floated the idea that President Donald Trump would try to “steal” the election, has begun assembling an army of election lawyers and volunteers to fight off any election “chicanery,” such as attempts to limit universal vote-by-mail.

“We put together 600 lawyers and a group of people throughout the country who are going into every single state to try to figure out whether chicanery is likely to take place,” the presumptive Democratic nominee said at a fundraiser earlier this month.

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