Critical states like Michigan and Pennsylvania have already expanded their vote by mail efforts, which means that Trump’s battle to keep people from voting is already lost.
All six of the swing states that both sides see as the most probable tipping points allow their residents to vote by mail for any reason, and there’s virtually no chance that any of them will retrench their existing laws this year. That means that, however much Trump rages, the legal structure is in place for a mail-voting surge in those decisive states: Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona in the Sun Belt and Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the Rust Belt.
Such an increase “is going to happen” in states across the country this year, says Wendy Weiser, the director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “The president can’t prevent it from happening, his protestations notwithstanding. Voters are going to choose that option, and jurisdictions are going to need to make that option widely available in order to protect public health and administer their elections.”
Even though Republicans tend to vote more by mail than Democrats, the gap has been narrowing in recent years and Trump has convinced himself that Democrats steal elections with mail-in voting, so the president is opposed to any national proposal to extend vote by mail.
However, if Trump thinks that he can win in Michigan and Pennsylvania by discouraging mail-in voting, that battle has already been lost as both states have expanded the vote by allowing voters to request a mail-in ballot without providing a reason.
Trump may have wanted to use the coronavirus to win a second term, but in key swing states, that isn’t going to be an option in November.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association