Barack Obama: ‘Voting by Mail Shouldn’t Be a Partisan Issue’

Former U.S. President Barack Obama gesture as he attends 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 on Monday urged Americans to register to be able to vote by mail amid a broad push from Democrats to get as many Americans as possible use mail-in ballots for November’s presidential election and beyond.

“Voting by mail shouldn’t be a partisan issue–especially during a pandemic. Everybody should be able to request an absentee ballot, and make their voice heard in every election,” Obama wrote on social media. The former president then shared a vote.org link to register to receive an absentee ballot.

In late June, Obama sent out an email soliciting donations to combat “voter suppression” by advocating vote-by-mail. As Breitbart News reported: “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).”

President Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed Democrats for pushing vote-by-mail, warning it could “destroy this country.”

“We’re not going to destroy this country by allowing things like that to happen. We’re not destroying our country,” the president has said. “This has more to do with fairness and honesty and, really, our country itself.”

Last month, Attorney General William Barr warned mass mail-in voting “absolutely opens the floodgates to fraud.”

“Those things are delivered into mailboxes. They can be taken out. There’s questions about whether or not it even denies a secret ballot, because a lot of the states have you signing the outside of the envelope,” Barr told Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures. “So, the person who opens — person who opens the envelope will know how people voted. There’s no — right now, a foreign country could print up tens of thousands of counterfeit ballots, and [it would] be very hard for us to detect which was the right and which was the wrong ballot. So, I think it can — it can upset and undercut the confidence in the integrity of our elections. If anything, we should tighten them up right now.”

Nonetheless, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order in May permitting all registered voters in the state to vote by mail in the upcoming presidential election due to concerns over the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. Earlier July, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) also signed legislation allowing all eligible residents to vote early via mail for state primary and general election contests.

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