A new MoveOn.org campaign has gained momentum after Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, and Rita Wilson have joined forces to promote vote-by-mail.
Obama is a co-chair of When We All Vote, which is supporting the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020.
If the federal legislation passes, then vote-by-mail will be permitted nationwide.
Michelle Obama stated that "no one should have to choose between making their voices heard and being healthy and safe."
However, critics of the legislation argue that vote-by-mail increases risk of voter fraud and ballot harvesting, especially if voter ID is not required.
More details on the growing controversy below:
They claim that the organization and vote-by-mail effort is non-partisan.
However, the support for vote-by-mail has fallen largely along political lines.
Ironically, Democrats are the most likely to support vote-by-mail effort, despite the fact that they spent the last 3 years investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Vote-by-mail is less secure than traditional voting, especially if ballot harvesting is involved.
In-person voting with strict voter ID requirements ensures that only eligible American citizens cast their vote for president.
The New York Post confirms that Hanks and Wilson have teamed up with Michelle Obama to push for nationwide vote-by-mail:
Former first lady Michelle Obama was joined by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson for her voter registration “couch party” event to stump for mail-in voting as the coronavirus pandemic has shifted the debate on safe voting practices.
Hanks and Wilson, who were the first celebrities to announce they had tested positive for the virus, took part in Obama’s Monday evening When We All Vote #CouchParty event along with thousands of volunteers and supporters who joined in from their own homes.
Hanks and Wilson are co-chairs of the group alongside Obama, who founded the effort.
Obama spoke by phone to attendees about the importance of voting being accessible to all, especially through voting-by-mail, given the dangers of the pandemic. The former first lady also noted that she and husband Barack Obama have sent in their ballots for “every election for the last decade.”
“Voting should never, ever be difficult and it should never be a partisan issue,” she continued.
We agree -- voting shouldn't be a partisan issue.
Eligible American citizens have a right to vote according to the Constitution!
But we need to ensure the integrity and honesty of our elections!
Vote-by-mail jeopardizes security, especially when ballot harvesting is involved.
Wanting vote count authenticity and security is not a partisan issue! It is the right and ethical thing to do!
An ID is required to buy alcohol, drive, or get on an airplane.
Why is it so difficult for Democrats to support voter ID to secure the very backbone of our democracy?
This would ensure fair, open, transparent, and authentic elections.
Instead, they would rather push partisan policies in a time of crisis.
MoveOn goes on to claim that the coronavirus has prompted the need for a countrywide expansion of voting by mail.
“With the threat of Covid-19 looming over the November election, Congress must act to ensure every American has the ability to cast their ballot safely and without unnecessary risk,” MoveOn says at its petition page. “Tell your elected officials to expand access to vote-by-mail, early voting, and online voter registration.”
The group goes on to falsely claim that voters put their lives at risk to vote in Wisconsin’s primary this year, writing, “During the Wisconsin primary this spring, thousands of voters risked their health and defied a stay-at-home order to exercise their right to vote.”
This is a falsehood. Voters in the Dairy State were not at undue risk of contracting COVID-19. Indeed, according to reports, Wisconsin’s rate of identified cases went down in the two weeks after the primary election. And in the weeks after the primary, the state was only able to identify 52 voters out of 400,000 that had the virus — and it was impossible to determine if they even contracted the virus on Election Day.
With the new campaign, Obama’s “When We All Vote” nonprofit and MoveOn are calling for expanded access to vote-by-mail, expanded early In-person voting, and expanded online voter registration.
“Vote-by-mail could be the only safe and secure option for some Americans,” MoveOn insists. “States must offer multiple options for requesting, receiving, and returning mail-in ballots while maintaining the security of our voting system; multiple ways to request mail-in ballots, including online, in person, by phone, and by mail; and safe and secure options for returning ballots by expanding deadlines for mail-in ballots to be requested and returned.”
Those who oppose an all mail-in voting system are quick to note that people voting at home and mailing in their ballot would, by necessity, be completely unmonitored, and such a system is open to reams of fake votes being produced and sent in the mail to authorities. The ballots can also be stolen or lost.
Vote-by-mail not only opens the door to voter fraud and ballot harvesting... it also can potentially lead to voter intimidation in homes as they fill out ballots.
This should be a concern for anyone who is remotely worried about fair and open elections.
Political activists, for example, are required to maintain a specific distance from physical voting locations. This ensures that they can't intimidate or stalk voters to vote a specific way.
But if people vote from home and their ballots are harvested, there are countless risks to election security.
That's not political opinion.