Obama Soliciting Funding for Vote-by-Mail Effort

US President Barack Obama(R together with Vice President Joe Biden addresses, for the firs
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama sent out an email blast yesterday soliciting individuals to donate money to fight “voter suppression” by advocating vote-by-mail, early voting, and online voter registration.

The message was sent out by Obama on behalf of All On The Line, a campaign launched by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) which was formed after Obama’s political organization Organizing for Action (OFA) merged with his former Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Redistricting Action Fund (NRAF).

All On The Line describes itself as “a national campaign” which aims to “restore fairness to our democracy and ensure every American has an equal say in our government.” 

The email reads as follows:

“We need to take concrete steps to address voter suppression.  All On The Line has helped tens of thousands of people — in all 50 states — contact their elected officials to demand action on election protection. Will you chip in to build momentum going into election season?

Right now, folks in places like North Carolina and Ohio are pressuring state lawmakers to support commonsense election reform. This kind of direct advocacy can go a long way as these states debate how to administer elections in the midst of a pandemic. If we want to see safe, fair, and accessible elections this fall, we need to advocate for solutions like vote-by-mail, early-vote, and online voter registration.

Stopping voter suppression is not just about protecting elections this year. It’s also about passing commonsense election reform — a step that will be consequential for the next decade. Will you help fund this fight, friend?”

— Barack Obama

With election experts fearful of potential fraud in postal balloting–which is more common than in in-person voting–such moves could prove disastrous for free and fair elections.

“The consensus among people who study fraud carefully is that voting by mail is a much more fertile area for fraud than voting in person,” said Charles Stewart, who studies election technology and administration at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This past week, President Trump and Attorney General William Barr spoke about the major dangers mail-in voting could pose to the upcoming elections if implemented, with President Trump calling mail-in voting “the biggest risk we have” at a Fox News town hall on Thursday. 

Barr, in an interview with NPR released on Friday, said an election conducted primarily by mail can’t be secure.

In an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Barr warned that mass scale mail-in voting “opens the floodgates to fraud.”

Barr revealed that he has specific reason to believe that several foreign countries seek to sow discord in the U.S. by undermining confidence in election results and that mail-in voting programs would be exploited.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.


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