The polling data supports the fact that most people not only prefer not to wait in long lines but don’t want to risk dying or getting COVID-19 due to in-person voting. Without the option to vote through mail openly many, especially Democrats, feel less confident in the fairness and accuracy of the November election. According to the data, several believe with mail options being less strict all citizens will be able to vote, if they want to, and not be restricted by obstacles such as fear of the virus. This theory was proven in Kansas, where Democrats increased their turnout by more than three times from the 2016 presidential caucus after switching to all-mail primary ballots, the Kansas City Star reported.
Mail-in voting works, which is why it seems Republicans are so opposed to it. Earlier this month, Wisconsin voters stood in long lines to vote in elections amid the pandemic. Many of those who chose to practice safety measures were unable to vote due to a lack of absentee ballots—this furthers the reality that without the option to mail votes in, elections are conducted in an unfair manner.
While not all Republicans are opposed to mail-in voting and many are moving to expand voting opportunities in upcoming primaries, experts say not to expect the same strategy for November. According to Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias, efforts to block postponement of Wisconsin’s primary this month by the Republican National Committee foreshadow what can be expected in the presidential election, CNN reported. “Just imagine what they’re going to be willing to do when it’s Donald Trump on the ballot in November,” Elias told CNN. “Donald Trump has set a tone that Republican legislators are going to oppose voting rights across the board.”
Mail-in voting encourages many of those who chose not to vote in person to have the opportunity to do so, thus increasing voter turnout. As limitations on absentee ballots are lifted, America should expect an increase in voter turnout.
Polling data depicted widespread support for not only voting by mail but automatic voting registration. Automatic voter registration is supported by 69% of Americans, data showed. While 84% of Democrats favored automatically registering those eligible to vote, 53% of Republicans did, proving that the majority in both parties believe automatic voter registration allows for better voter turnout and a smoother voting process.
Across party lines, both Democrats and Republicans favor mail-in voting more than before amid the coronavirus pandemic, the data showed. Americans should not have to and do not want to choose between their voting rights and health. Vote-by-mail ballots not only increases voter turnout but allows for accessibility to voting for all.