Arkansas Republicans and Donald Trump want no part of mail voting, even as a temporary safe harbor during a pandemic, because they fear mail voting would favor Democrats.
Like a lot of stuff Trump says, it isn’t true.
Here’s the New York Times on mail voting:
Five states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington — now have all-mail elections, in which ballots are sent to every registered voter without their having to request one. Others, like Arizona and California, allow voters to add themselves to a permanent list of mail voters.
And there are also cases like Nebraska, which allows counties of less than 10,000 people to mail ballots to all voters (many of them Republicans) but forbids it in large urban areas (where many voters are Democrats). Texas allows no-excuse absentee voting for people 65 or older, another group that skews Republican.
None of these states have seen an appreciable shift favoring Democrats that officials and experts attribute to mail voting.
Anecdote: A turnout upswing was found in a 2014 U.S. Senate race in Colorado. Outcome: A REPUBLICAN ousted an incumbent Democrat.
Republicans in Florida and Arizona, both states with big populations of retirees (aka Fox News watchers) have supported mail voting because it is thought to help older people. In California, it also was seen as a boon to older voters and to rural voters, both populations that tend to vote Republican.
While there’s not much evidence of partisan advantage in mail voting, there IS evidence that it increases voter participation overall. My observation: The desire for bigger voter participation DOES divide on a partisan basis.
See yesterday’s Joint Budget session with an overwhelming vote by the Republican-dominated group against Sen. Joyce Elliott’s modest proposal to allow no-excuse-absentee voting in November, when the country could still be struggling to stay safe from the coronavirus.