Election 2020

Voters Are Concerned About Mail-In Voting Yet COVID-19 Panic Porn Causes Concern About Voting In-Person

Despite Twitter thinking concerns about mail-in voting are misinformation, it turns out a clear majority of Americans share those concerns. According to a new Harris-HillX poll, 68% of registered voters are concerned about vote tampering and privacy with mail-in voting. However, their unfounded fears about COVID-19 may cause them to take the option.

Mail-In Voting

A majority of voters who identify as Republicans, Independents, and Democrats express concern over vote tampering with mail-in voting. The same is true for privacy concerns. If respondents were made aware that the American Postal Workers Union Executive Board formally endorsed Joe Biden on June 9th, they might be more concerned. From their statement:

The APWU National Executive Board believes that Joe Biden is the best choice in the upcoming presidential election. Former Vice-President Biden remains committed to helping end the assault on the Postal Service and our job security and will work with the APWU to secure the robust, vibrant, public Postal Service the people of our country deserve and help defend our rights to good, family-sustaining union jobs. As such, the National Executive Board committed to make every effort to educate and engage our members to elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States and encourages members to be fully engaged in the 2020 presidential election.

The statement is clear that the union does not like the Trump administration’s policies regarding the USPS. Privatization and other measures to bring costs under control have been at the forefront. They see these as a risk to their jobs and cushy union contracts. Being “fully engaged” under these circumstances sounds almost sinister.

These concerns are warranted as people examine the process in their own states. It is also reinforced as the DOJ and local jurisdictions continue to announce prosecutions for voter fraud. A charge against a mail carrier in West Virginia was announced recently.

COVID-19 Concerns

The poll also shows evidence that the media COVID-19 panic porn is working. A full 55% of Americans are concerned about being exposed to COVID-19 when voting in person. This fear is despite CDC guidance acknowledging that the risk of surface transmission is very low, and effective spread is seen mostly among family members who are in close, prolonged indoor contact.

The concern among people 18-49 is wildly unwarranted. Nearly 60% indicate they are concerned. The last CDC update to the fatality rate for COVID-19 in that age group is 0.05%. This update was calculated before congressional testimony, indicating that an estimated 23 million Americans had been infected based on antibody screening.

Further, more recent case analysis in Texas and Florida shows people in this age group are being infected and almost always have mild to no symptoms. The media’s constant reporting of total cases rather than highlighting case severity is some of the most dangerous activism in journalism to date. Ignoring and vilifying effective treatments For COVID-19 is also journalistic malpractice.

A Strange Finding

Perhaps the strangest thing about the poll is the exact same number of voters, 68%, who are concerned about the process indicate that mail-in voting is either very safe or somewhat safe. These two results do not make logical sense other than attributing some of the noise to outsize fear of COVID-19. And perhaps confusion between mail-in voting and absentee ballots.

Mail-in voting is a push process. The state would proactively send ballots to every name on its voter rolls to their listed address. Because some states do a terrible job of cleaning voter rolls, like California, this could mean ballots would be sent to people at addresses they moved away from. Compound this problem with California’s ballot harvesting law, which allows anyone to collect ballots from a household and return them to the polling place, the opportunity for fraud is immense.

By contrast, absentee ballots are a pull process. A registered voter needs to request a ballot ensuring a single ballot goes to an individual voter. All states have this process and it should be the one used for people who are concerned about in-person voting.

Some states, like Colorado, have used mail-in voting for several years. However, it took a lot of planning and a disciplined process to maintain election integrity. It is not remotely feasible to expect states to develop a disciplined and accurate method in a matter of months. And after the Democrats’ debacle in the Iowa caucus, any suggestion they make about voting via an app or the internet should be roundly mocked.

Make It Safe To Vote In-Person

In-person voting can be made safe and efficient. Most states have extended early voting periods. Encouraging people to use this option to decrease the crowds on election day should be a voter education priority. Additionally, hand sanitizer, equipment cleaning, and requiring masks inside the polling place should be sufficient barriers to disease transmission. And of course, absentee ballots are an acceptable option.

But mail-in voting nationwide will be an unmitigated disaster. We have already seen hiccups with primary elections using it in several states. Are you ready to wait several weeks to find out who the president is? In the current environment, that would be a powder keg waiting to explode.