A political battle is being played on the coronavirus in the United States: on 3 November the new president will be elected and it is probable that there will still be avoid crowding, such as those created at polling stations. Democrats are fighting to extend the ballot by mail, which is already possible in 34 states, even to the other 16, so as to allow as many citizens as possible to express their preference without going to the polling stations. Republicans are opposed. To move them, even during the pandemic, not so much the health of citizens, as much a political calculation: Democrats believe that an increase in turnout benefits them, Republicans damaging them.
The pandemic and the vote by mail
A Republican candidate in this country would no longer be elected, he summarized in recent weeks Fox News President Donald Trump, who considers the vote by correspondence fraudulent and dangerous and that, in late May, it threatened to block access to federal funds for the states of Michigan and Nevada that were starting to program it. Thousands of people could go to the living room to fill out cards, he said in April. The president leads his battle via Twitter, with the social network that at the end of May was forced to add fact-checking for the first time to his tweets: Trump’s reaction came with an executive order, which made all social networks responsible for what they publish.
There is NO WAY (ZERO!) That Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone …..
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020
Where to vote by mail and where not
More and more states – of both sides – are therefore moving to extend the vote by mail, which Michelle Obama is also promoting through the non-profit When We All Vote. A study by the Brennan Center for Justice shows that in 34 American states and in the capital Washington D.C. you are already allowed to vote by post without needing a reason, e in five of the West even the main method. In 11 of the other 16 states – which only allowed it for particular, mostly health reasons – restrictions were eased in the spring for primaries and, in some cases, for presidential elections.
The risk of repeating what happened last week in Georgia or in April in Wisconsin. In the first case – in a conservative state that has a long tradition of suppressing the right to vote – there were long queues, problems with the expensive machinery purchased and delays due to the absence of electoral material and the closure of several seats, in particular in African American majority neighborhoods which tend to vote democratic. Despite this, mail order votes went from an average of 40,000 to nearly one million.
The abolition of the right to vote
This story it is not just a simple local election: in Wisconsin, four years ago, Trump struck the knockout blow to Hillary Clinton, winning by a few votes: 22,748 votes out of almost 2.8 million voters. Beyond the pandemic, however, that on the right to vote a battle that has been going on for decades, and is not limited to voting by post. In the United States, voter turnout is quite low – in the last 40 years the record was established in 2008, with 58.2% of those entitled – also because citizens to vote must register in advance in the electoral lists, with ways that vary in every state and that, especially in the conservative ones of the South, they tend to make life more difficult for the voters of the poorer classes and minorities, who tend to vote democratic.
Threat hacker for online voting
An alternative would be online voting, tried last week by voters from Delaware and West Virginia who spoke on phones and computers. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston showed that OmniBallot, the platform used, can be tampered with without the voters, the electoral office and even the supplier company. knowing. According to cyber security experts, transferring elections to the Internet would be a huge risk that the United States is not prepared to face, much higher than that set by the correspondence vote: it would endanger the privacy of the voters, the secret ballot and the reliability of the result, which could be influenced by hackers. The United States also does not have a digital and centralized identification system like that of Estonia, which has held every election online since 2005.
Trump’s trump card: postal delays
The real problem this year is another, and will concern the large amount of cards that will arrive by correspondence. In 2018, 430,000 were canceled due to postal delays, and the risk of tipping over a system that has been in crisis for some time and to which Trump is waging war. In April, Congress had allocated a $ 13 billion aid package to the United States Postal Service, but the president – while he is distributing money to all Americans – blocked them, asking for stakes to raise tariffs, particularly in Amazon. The request was accepted, also because in the meantime Louis DeJoey, Trump’s close ally, arrived at the head of the post office. The right man to look back on the president in the war on mail-order voting.
June 16, 2020 | 22:13
© RESERVED REPRODUCTION