Bruce Barry explains why Democrats should, wherever possible, vote in person rather than relying on absentee or mail-in ballots:
It has been gratifying over the last month to watch Democrats (and some Republicans, though of course none from anywhere near Tennessee) push back against the Trump administration’s naked political and operational pillage of the postal service—an electoral stratagem so transparently cynical that the unqualified chump Trump put in charge had no choice but to walk some of it back when confronted under oath. Alas, “some” is the key qualifier here; postal mayhem aplenty still looms.
Making mail-in voting work for those who must rely on it is legal and political energy reasonably well spent. But Democrats should dial back the definition of must and put more emphasis on avoiding mail-in voting (outside states that already do it routinely) rather than deluding themselves into expecting it to work well this year everywhere. There are just too many risks for it to be a central electoral strategy. The reliably nonpartisan Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman cogently sums it up: mail-in voting poses for Democrats “unique uncertainty, including potential for postal chicanery, voter error, and rejected absentees that disproportionately hurt Dems.”
Avoiding mail-in voting means more of an emphasis on making sure that the largest possible number of people vote in-person. It means persuading everyone who can conceivably show up at a polling place (whether early or on the day) to decide that god dammit they are going to vote in person, and then giving them what they need to follow through. Democratic party officials should launch a big and visible effort to mobilize wealthy donors to open their wallets and fund whatever is needed to get Grandma to a poll to vote – a ride, a face shield, a chair, a box lunch.
I agree with him. I had planned on getting an absentee ballot for the November election and then either mailing it back or returning it to one of the polling places that will accept it a few days before Election Day. However, after reading about the tens of thousands of such ballots that have been rejected — and thus not counted — as well as the continuing shenanigans at the US Postal Service, I’m now determined to go to cast my vote for Biden and his fellow Democratic candidates at our local polling place on Tuesday, November 3rd.
I don’t care if it’s raining that day, or there’s a long line, or I have to stand there wearing a mask for a couple of hours. I have voted in person for every presidential election since I turned eighteen, and I’m not ending that streak this year, even during a pandemic.