There is an old saying about the weather, that everyone complains about it but nobody does anything. While that observation is to be taken tongue-in-cheek, Republicans’ refusal to embrace, promote, or even accept mail-in voting most certainly is not. In fact, it is killing them.
Just how bad must things get before the GOP stops merely complaining about voting by mail, and actually encourages its partisans to get aboard a train that pulled out of the station two years ago at warp speed? Would they rather be right, as they admittedly are about the higher probability of fraud with such balloting, or win more elections? It has finally boiled down to little more than that.
From the onset of the pandemic, when mail-in balloting exploded, through the 2022 midterms, Donald Trump and GOP congressional leaders have appeared more intent on arguing about the validity of voting by mail and scaring people away from it, than bowing to the reality that Democrats would dominate the realm absent a concerted effort by Republicans to get in on the action. And sure enough, the Democrats have almost certainly won multiple elections strictly because of it.
Mail-In Voting – A Treasure Trove for the Left
Of course, the Dems encouraged and worked overtime to enable such balloting, successfully hectoring malleable governors and courts during the pandemic to override the clear constitutional imperative that elections are to be controlled by state legislatures. They knew that the minimal effort it takes to simply select your preferred candidate on a ballot sent directly to your home – no need to even request it – would prove very appealing to Democratic voters. And as the old commercial said, it’s no fuss, no muss, and it really, really works. Consider that in 2020, an almost unfathomably low 25% of voters cast their ballots in person. And now, even with the pandemic in the rearview mirror, voters expect to be able to continue voting with zero effort outside of owning a pen and dropping their vote in a mailbox.
Those who recognized the obvious flaws of Joe Biden and voted against him in 2020 have almost universally refused to accept the breathtaking proposition that this broken-down mediocrity could possibly accumulate 81 million votes – way more than any candidate in American history – especially when he rarely left his basement. The virtual airdrop of ballots in 2020 will live in electoral legend – and in the nightmares of conservatives. But this is the way the game is now played, and it matters not whether you believe voting by mail is anti-democratic, unconstitutional, or merely unacceptable – absent a legitimate excuse to vote via absentee ballot such as illness or travel, and specifically apply to do so. The toothpaste is out of the tube, and there is no way it will be squeezed back in.
Leftist media, from the Associated Press to that famous Washington newspaper with deep ties to the left, have bent over backward to try and prove mail-in voting does not help one party or the other – while not offering credible data to back it up. That hardly passes the smell test, even at a cursory level. If one party is openly encouraging its supporters to engage in a process, and the other is just as openly discouraging it, can we really believe it results in no advantage for one over the other? Well, who are you going to believe – elite media or your lying eyes? The great Mollie Hemingway laid it out in her definitive account of what transpired just in Wisconsin, awarded to Biden by a skinny 20,000 votes in the 2020 election:
“[O]ne United States Postal Service official reported that workers had found “three tubs” of absentee ballots for an area covering Appleton and Oshkosh, totaling some 1,600 ballots. None were ever counted. In Milwaukee, nearly 2,700 ballots were never sent to voters because of a production problem. Only 52.5 percent of the affected voters ended up voting, either with a replacement absentee ballot or at the polls. And hundreds of absentee ballots a day that were supposed to be mailed to Fox Point residents failed to make it to their destinations.”
But it’s not just voting by mail – and the predictable issues flowing from it – that has changed the face of elections. Early voting is another raging issue, especially after a clearly addled John Fetterman had already accumulated untold thousands or millions of votes before voters were aware of the extent of his malady, revealed so shockingly in the lone debate of the Pennsylvania Senate campaign. There is no way to assert with a straight face that all of the people who voted for Fetterman as early as September would have done so if voting had not commenced weeks before the election. Extended voting over a three or four-day period leading up to the election is a reasonable compromise, as determined by each individual state legislature. There is also the increasingly popular notion of declaring Election Day a national holiday, so no one will be unable to vote because of work, but there has so far been little actual movement in such a direction.
There used to be a sense of renewed camaraderie among Americans lining up to vote on Election Day, sharing the exercise of a franchise that has required so much blood, sweat and tears to protect and defend. Those days are likely gone forever. And while we might lament the loss of that singular, collective experience in civic duty, it serves no constructive purpose to deny the reality – and spurn the benefits – of how elections are now conducted in the 21st century.
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