Barack Obama Joins Democrats’ Push for Vote-by-Mail During Coronavirus Crisis

Former U.S. President Barack Obama with his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng arrives for the "values-based leadership" during a plenary session of the Gathering of Rising Leaders in the Asia Pacific, organized by the Obama Foundation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
AP Photo/Vincent Thian

Former President Barack Obama joined prominent Democrats arguing that the United States should implement a vote-by-mail option in the upcoming fall elections.

“Let’s not use the tragedy of a pandemic to compromise our democracy,” Obama wrote on social media. “Check the facts of vote by mail.”

Obama cited a New York Times story to defend voting by mail; the article quoted two of his former campaign employees, Amelia Showalter and Brian Dunn, who were in favor of it.

“Everyone should have the right to vote safely, and we have the power to make that happen,” he wrote. “This shouldn’t be a partisan issue.”

The former president was sharply critical of the election that took place in Wisconsin this week, despite fears of spreading the coronavirus.

“No one should be forced to choose between their right to vote and their right to stay healthy like the debacle in Wisconsin this week,” he wrote.

Obama joined prominent voices such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who argue that the coronavirus crisis is an opportunity to instigate a national vote by mail option for Americans.

President Trump has been strongly opposed to the idea of voting by mail, citing inevitable fraud.

“I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting,” he said last Friday. “I think people should vote with ID, with Voter ID.”


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