Washington: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that America needs to move toward a “vote by mail” system to give citizens a safe way to elect their lawmakers while the coronavirus makes it dangerous to congregate.
“In terms of the elections, I think we’ll probably be moving to vote by mail,” Pelosi said in an interview on MSNBC. “That’s why we wanted to have more resources in this third bill that just was signed by the president, to get those resources to the states to facilitate the reality of life: that we are going to have to have more vote by mail.”
Her position is in direct conflict with that of President Trump who on Monday warned that voting by mail would hurt the Republican Party.
Pelosi suggested that a vote-by-mail system would not damage “the integrity of the election system.” Already, more than a dozen states and U.S. territories have either postponed their primaries or moved to a vote-by-mail system amid the coronavirus pandemic.
But Trump in a television interview on Monday dismissed efforts to push for a vote-by-mail system and other reforms to make voting easier amid the pandemic. He said these types of reforms would damage the Republican Party.
“The things they had in there were crazy. They had things, levels of voting that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again,” Trump said on Fox News. “They had things in there about election days and what you do and all sorts of clawbacks.”
Several surveys indicate that Democrats receive more favorable outcomes as the voting process becomes more simplified, the Seattle Times reported.
But dozens of states already have in place more accessible voting methods, Business Insider reported, with 38 states allowing early voting, 35 allowing absentee ballots and five relying on a mail-in system to conduct their elections. Republicans are elected to every level of government in those states, including those that primarily vote by mail.
Pelosi directly addressed Trump’s remarks on MSNBC Tuesday. “How anyone can oppose our enabling the states to have vote by mail raises so many other questions but let’s just be hopeful and have public opinion weigh in,” she said.