Democrat Reps. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) in an op-ed on Tuesday called for implementation of vote-by-mail for the “remainder of the 2020 election cycle — and beyond.”
The Democrat lawmakers laid out a bleak view, casting the Trump administration as dropping the ball on coronavirus crisis, resulting in tens of thousands of U.S. deaths.
“Inexcusable delays and denials at the highest level of our government made the pain and suffering of this crisis worse than it ever should have been,” they claimed, citing the shortages of masks and financial strain on small business assistance — assistance members of their own party initially blocked when it first came time to replenish the fund.
“And our president gets on TV every day without a word of comfort for a grieving nation. We’re angry, too,” they wrote, attempting to hit a positive note by assuring readers that they can “make our fury known” at the ballot box.
The safety of doing so, they contend, remains a major point concern. Following an ever-growing list of colleagues using the Chinese coronavirus as a means to push party agenda items, both Kennedy and Pocan stated that “COVID-19 threatens to erect unprecedented roadblocks to participation” and pitched universal vote-by-mail as a solution.
“How can we ask voters to risk their heath [sic] to show up in person and cast a vote?” they asked.
“We can’t. Which is why Congress and state leaders across the country must move immediately to implement vote by mail for the remainder of the 2020 election cycle — and beyond,” they said, affirming the GOP’s growing suspicion that Democrats intend to use the crisis to implement mail-in voting for elections beyond the crisis.
Every single registered voter in the United States should be sent a ballot and given the option of casting their vote via mail. In-person polls can and should remain open, operating with the highest health and safety standards.
If we don’t act fast, we will jeopardize participation in what may be the most important election of our lifetime. People will stay home. Disproportionately, those people will be of color, who live in neighborhoods most likely to lose polling locations. They’ll be students, single parents, and low-wage workers, who can’t put their lives on hold to go vote. They’ll be seniors and medically-vulnerable patients, who would be literally risking their lives just to cast their ballots. So a privileged few will get to decide our country’s trajectory while the people most impacted by this crisis are forced to forfeit their voice.
The lawmakers also appealed to the controversial primary election held in Wisconsin last month, citing the reduction of polling locations and the number of those who contracted the virus following Election Day.
“And now, more than 50 people who either worked the polls or voted in those elections have tested positive for COVID-19,” they said.
As Breitbart News reported, only 52 individuals who either worked at the polls or showed up to vote April 7 — out of 400,000 in-person voters — tested positive for the virus afterward. What is more, “several” of those people “also reported other ways they may have been exposed to the virus,” the Wisconsin Department of Health Services indicated.
“At best, then, the infection rate amounts to approximately 0.013% of those who voted in person with a 0.00% fatality rate,” as Breitbart News detailed.
Nonetheless, the progressive lawmakers continued, calling vote-by-mail “the gold standard for voter access and participation.” They effectively dismissed GOP concerns, instead predicting that Republicans would soon use “scare tactics” and “racist dog whistles about voter fraud” to curb the far-left demands for a total transformation in the way Americans vote in U.S. elections.
Kennedy and Pocan are just the latest to bluntly call for vote-by-mail for the November election. Former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, failed Trump challenger Hillary Clinton, and former presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have upped their calls for vote-by-mail. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has hinted that the next phase of coronavirus relief, penned by House Democrats, will push the party agenda item even further.