Democrats probably should have clued in Joe Biden’s handlers.
Democrat leaders in Congress have been pushing for wholesale change to our election procedures due to the pandemic. They have held up COVID relief legislation to force mail-in voting and other changes, such as ballot harvesting nationwide and all kinds of money for their friends in the postal workers union.
Unfortunately for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, their nominee just blew their case. Joe Biden, who is 77 years old, is at high risk due to his age if he caught COVID-19. If he were to catch the virus and had any number of pre-existing conditions, he could become very ill or worse.
Yet here is Joe Biden voting in person in the Delaware primary:
Joe and Jill Biden leave the polling station after casting their early ballots for the Delaware statewide primary.
— Sarah Mucha (@sarahmucha) September 14, 2020
The reporter seems less amazed by the aging nominee voting in person than she is by the candidate’s wife’s boots. You would think she might be curious about why Biden’s party is deliberately disenfranchising people across the country if it is safe for him to cast his ballot in person. Nope. She made sure to let everyone know where to get the super cute boots. If you’re inclined.
So, if Joe Biden can take appropriate precautions and go to a polling station, why can’t the vast majority of Americans? We can assume Jill helped him wash his hands after this hazardous task. The Democrat nominee is wearing a mask, which at his age, is probably a good idea. He is also taking advantage of early voting, available nearly nationwide for weeks. Biden also went mid-morning when it is likely to be less crowded.
These steps seem like a set of recommendations that could be part of a nationwide public health campaign. Seniors are likely to be home during the day and able to vote on a flexible schedule. Encouraging them to do so would make sense. For younger, healthier individuals, there are really no barriers to voting during the voting period and wearing a mask would be a simple courtesy. In some states, it is mandatory, so the problem is solved.
Our health experts agree. Dr. Fauci, also nearly 80, says he plans to vote in-person. He notes grocery stores, Starbucks, and other outlets all manage their lines through social distancing, and polling places have the same ability. Dr. Birx echoed this sentiment:
“If you go into Starbucks in the middle of Texas and Alabama and Mississippi that have very high case rates, then I can’t say that it would be different waiting in line in the polls,” Birx said.
Of course, she cautions that masks must be worn and social distancing must be adhered to. “I know there’s a way but you really do have to pay attention,” she added.
If our health experts are saying in-person voting can be done safely and the elderly Democrat nominee can go to the polls, why exactly are Democrats insisting on mail-in voting? The answer is simple: enthusiasm. The party wants every registered voter to receive a ballot, no matter how poorly maintained the voter rolls are. They insist on ballot harvesting as well.
Ballot harvesting means anyone can collect ballots and return them to a polling place. It widens current laws that may allow relatives or other specific individuals to return ballots for an individual in some states. Many election watchers credit this process with elections that Republicans had comfortably won on election night in California that flipped to the Democrat after harvested votes were counted in 2018.
In every set of crosstabs that measures voter enthusiasm, even if Biden is ahead, a small proportion of his voters are voting for him. Instead, they are voting against President Trump. There is no modern election against an incumbent where this pattern has resulted in a win. Some pundits say hate is a motivator, but that didn’t work for Mitt Romney, John Kerry, or Walter Mondale.
All of those candidates had a similar pattern in terms of their voters voting against the incumbent. At the last measure, all three had more enthusiasm among their voters than Joe Biden does. Democrats know this. They intend to solve the problem of people not getting to the polls.
They want to ensure the polling place is brought to the voter. Then they will deploy activists to encourage people to fill out their ballots and collect them for them. They will focus on the homes and demographics they feel confident will vote for Biden. That is the best-case scenario. There is bound to be some level of fraud with ballots mailed to the wrong address and other errors.
Democrats are willing to put the integrity of our election on the line to collect more votes. Those votes may or may not be counted. Average disenfranchisement due to loss of mail-in ballots in years with much lower use of mail-in voting is approximately 20%. The disenfranchisement will allow the Democrats to challenge results if their plan doesn’t work. It is a contingency plan with a contingency plan.
If you want your vote to count, insist on in-person voting. Even Mark Zuckerberg is saying it could be days or weeks before we have a consensus result. In the current environment, this kind of delay could have tragic consequences. Americans should not let our faith in free and fair elections be co-opted.
And if Joe Biden can go to the polls, almost everyone can.