Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions argues if the push to use federal power to require voting by mail as an election offering is successful, it could threaten democracy in the United States.
During a telephone town hall with the Tuscaloosa County, AL Republican Party, Sessions, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama, explained how changing the election process would be a deviation from American traditions.
“That is a huge threat to democracy,” he said. “It is unthinkable that Congress would agree to such a demand, and if they stand firm, the Democrats will have to back down, for sure. Only if they weakened, could that be successful. Look, historically Election Day was a day that in every hamlet, village, farm and city people went to a polling place on the same day and they cast ballots. Then people decided if you were sick or if you were out of town, you should be able to vote absentee ballot.”
“The ideal of all of the nation gathering on a given day to decide the future of elected official is an important American value,” Sessions continued. “What the Democrats would do, ideally they’re saying they want to close polling places and send out ballots by mail. So, if your brother Billy is not here, or your mother passed away, or somebody has dementia — these ballots can be sent to a home, and anybody can cast them and send them in. People can intercept ballots if they are voting for someone who is not legal.”
Sessions, who also served as a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama during the Reagan administration, explained that he had once prosecuted election fraud cases involving absentee ballot and was aware of the risks of having voting take place outside of a precinct.
“Another danger that I saw in Alabama — and I prosecuted voter fraud cases in Alabama,” Sessions explained. “One of the things we saw was that people would come to your house and talk to you about the campaign, and the next thing you know, they’re at the kitchen table, coercing the homeowner to give up the privacy of their ballot, and being told how to vote. A lot of people who aren’t strong-willed tend to get annealed to that kind of pressure. They’ll pick up the ballot, and they’ll mail it. They have even done things and opened ballots, and scratched out the way it was marked, and vote for somebody else. A case like that, I prosecuted.”
He insisted that if he is elected to the U.S. Senate in November, he will fight against any move to make vote-by-mail a reality.
“These are the kind of things that are a danger and is not good,” he added. “and we’ve already got concerns about the integrity of our ballots. This would be going in the exact wrong direction. Now you can vote absentee, but you have to be sick or out of town — basically, the main reason to vote absentee. If I’m in the Senate, they’ll pass this over my dead political body. I’m telling you — this is a fight that cannot be lost, and must not be lost.”
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