Hillary Clinton (D) on Friday issued a sterling stamp of approval to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who ordered vote-by-mail in California for November’s election, expressing hopes that governors around the country follow his lead.
“I hope other governors around the country follow @GavinNewsom’s lead,” Clinton said on Friday. “No voter should be forced to choose between their safety and exercising their civic duty this fall”:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 8, 2020
On Friday, Newsom signed an executive order allowing all registered voters in the Golden State to receive a mail-in ballot for the general election in November, appealing to the fears around the Chinese coronavirus.
“I signed an executive order that will allow every registered voter in California to receive a mail-in ballot,” the governor said. “That mail-in ballot is important, but it’s not an exclusive substitute to physical locations.”
“People that are otherwise not familiar with mail-in ballots, are uncomfortable with them, may have disabilities, may have other issues that may preclude that as an appropriate option, we still want to have the appropriate number of physical sites for people to vote as well,” Newsom added.
There’s a lot of concern and excitement around this November’s election in terms of making sure that you can conduct yourself in a safe way and to make sure your health is protected and to make sure we are reaching out to all registered, eligible voters. And giving them the opportunity, giving them the choice not to feel like they have to go into a concentrated, dense environment where their health may be at risk but provide an additional asset and additional resources by way of voting by mail.
Newsom’s decision comes as Democrat Party leaders increase their attempts to seize on the fear and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus to pass party agenda items. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wasted no time in attempting to advance her party’s longterm goal of instituting vote-by-mail — which GOP critics say invites a host of voter fraud issues — packing a Democrat-penned coronavirus package with progressive agenda items such as ballot harvesting and vote-by-mail in March.
Several Democrats have used Wisconsin, which held its in-person primary in the wake of the pandemic, as a pitch for pushing vote-by mail. However, the results do not appear to justify their calls, as just 52 of 400,000 individuals who either worked at the polls or showed up to vote later tested positive for the virus. Additionally, it remains unclear if those individuals contracted the virus as a result of Election Day activities, as several of them “also reported other ways they may have been exposed to the virus,” according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
“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 reported.
Still, Democrat leaders, including Clinton and the Obamas, have upped their calls for vote-by-mail. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said during a Friday appearance on MSNBC’s All In that vote-by-mail provisions “will be a very important part of the legislation that [they are] going to put forward” and added that they are “going to fight like the devil for it.”
Clinton has been clamoring for vote-by-mail since the start of the crisis, touting election reforms offered by her former campaign attorney Marc Elias, who has proposed mail-in voting, curbside voting, and ballot harvesting.
The Trump campaign slammed Newsom’s executive order on Friday.
“This is a thinly-veiled political tactic by Gov. Newsom to undermine election security,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in part.
“There’s a vast difference between people voting absentee by mail because they can’t be at the poll on Election Day versus mailing everyone a ballot – even those who didn’t request one – is a wide open opportunity for fraud,” he added.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) recently launched a digital platform called “Protect the Vote” as a response to the “Democrats’ assault on the integrity of our elections” and their effort to “use coronavirus and the courts to legalize ballot harvesting, implement a nationwide mail-in ballot system, and eliminate nearly every safeguard in our elections”:
Democrats have a radical plan to change our elections.
*Remove election safeguards
*Eliminate signature verification
*Increase risk of voter fraud
— GOP (@GOP) May 8, 2020